The phonological word in standard Malay
Previous analyses (Teoh 1994 and Zaharani 1998) have claimed that the phonological word (PW) in Standard Malay (SM) is best defined as a stem plus any suffix. This view gains support from the fact that the phonological processes of Glide Formation( GF) and Gemination( Gem)operate a cross a stem-suffix boundary but are blocked across a prefix-stem boundary. That is, they operate within the PW (thus defined) but are blocked by a PW boundary. This view is undermined by regular phonological processes such as Nasal- ObstruenAt ssimilation( NOA) which operatesa crossp refix-stemb oundaries, but is blocked across stem-suffix boundaries. We claim that the PW is co-extensive with the morphological word in SM, and that the asymmetry between, on the one hand, GF and Gem and, on the other, NOA is best viewed in teens of a distinction between generalisations based on the right edge of the word and those based on the left edge. The role of metrical structure in SM is also examined. Our observations show that SM Main stress is assigned from the right edge, while initial secondary stress is assigned from the left edge, thus supporting our distinction between left edge and right edge processes in the lexical phonology of SM. We claim that Glottal Stop Insertion (GSI) is the default hiatus-avoidance process in SM and is an across-the-board postlexical rule that demands the second vowel be stressed, thus altering metrical structure postlexically. As well as GF, Gem, NOA and GSI, we also provide analyses of Floating /r/ and Nasalisation (Nas) in SM. Floating Ir/ and Nas, we claim, are lexical rules which operate across both prefix-stem and stem-suffix boundaries: unlike GF, Gem and NOA, they are not edge-based generalisations. The research also examines a set of roots in SM whose syllabic status has been disputed in previous literature. We show that the non-application of GSI is unexpectedly blocked only within roots. We provide empirical evidence by focusing on a Johore onset-reversal language game. E vidence from this game shows that such roots are underlyingly bisyllabic, and we claim that they are phonetically bisyllabic. We also reveal that all such cases contain a sequence of a stressed low vowel followed by an unstressed mid vowel (or lax high vowel) and do not perceptually resemble hiatus sequences. This, we claim, explains the non-application rootinternally of GSI as a hiatus avoidance strategy.