Disjunctive ordering

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Disjunctive ordering is a type of rule interaction, introduced by Chomsky & Halle (1968). Two rules A and B are ordered disjunctively if rule B may not be applied to the output of rule A, even if the output of rule A satisfies the structural description of rule B. See also parenthesis notation.


rule (a) and (b) are two rules among the stress rules of English:

a	V ->	    V    / ____C_0VC0
b	V ->	    V    / ____C0
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Rule (a) is applied in ellípsis; Rule (b) could then in principle also apply yielding the incorrect ellí­psís (with two main stresses). Therefore, rule (a) and (b) are ordered disjunctively to prevent rule (b) from applying after rule (a) has applied.


Utrecht Lexicon of Linguistics


  • Chomsky, N. and M. Halle 1968. The Sound Pattern of English, Harper and Row, New York.
  • Halle and Keyser 1971. English stress: its form, its growth and its role in verse, Harper & Row, New York.