SAM ZUKOFF, linguist

I'm currently a Postdoctoral Scholar in the Department of Linguistics at the University of Southern California. My research focuses on phonology, morphology, and historical linguistics.


Reduplicant Shape Alternations in Ponapean:
Evidence Against Morphological Doubling Theory
Reduplicant shape alternations in Ponapean are driven by the need to avoid clashes and avoid adjacent identical light syllables. This analysis works straightforwardly in BRCT, but actually can't be replicated in Morphological Doubling Theory. This tells us something about the nature of reduplication and the architecture of the grammar. 
Check out my hot-off-the-presses NELS paper for details:
The Mirror Alignment Principle:
Morpheme Ordering at the Morphosyntax-Phonology Interface
You can derive the Mirror Principle by projecting c-command relations in the morphosyntax onto domination relations among alignment constraints in the phonology. This allows for a unified analysis of all sorts of morpheme ordering problems, including Arabic nonconcatenative verbal morphology, asymmetric compositionality in the Bantu CARP template, and infixation in Austronesian.
My manuscript is now up on Lingbuzz (click below)! 
Let me know if you have any comments or feedback -- I'd love to hear it!
Huave Mobile Affixation and the Mirror Alignment Principle
In Huave, certain affixes vary between prefixal position and suffixal position depending on the phonological and morphological composition of the word. It has been a hot topic of debate whether these alternations should be handled in the phonology or the morphology, or, more broadly, what sort of grammatical architecture yields the best explanation of the facts. I argue that parallel phonological evaluation using alignment constraints provides a comprehensive phonological analysis. I also argue that this approach jives with facts about the morphosyntax.
I just presented this work as a poster at AMP (with accompanying video).
I also recently presented a longer version at Berkeley.
Deriving Arabic Verbal "Templates" without Templates
I argue that we can derive the templatic shapes in the Arabic verbal system through the interaction of segment-level (morpho)phonological constraints and morpho-syntactically dependent alignment constraints. This alleviates the need for arbitrary CV templates and opaque prosodic templates.
I'll be presenting this work at UC San Diego PhonCo in November,
and at the LSA in January. Stay tuned for updates!