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Title:Prosodic Faithfulness and Correspondence: Evidence from a Japanese Argot
Authors:Junko Ito, Yoshihisa Kitagawa, Armin Mester
Comment:71 pp, (Appeared in JEAL 5, 1996, Supersedes ROA-99)
Abstract:This paper develops a comprehensive optimality-theoretic analysis

of a Japanese reversing argot. Similar to other types of

prosodic-morphological word formation, the argot shows the

activation of constraints defining phonological unmarkedness.

This manifests itself in the emergence of optimal prosodic form,

within the limits imposed by a game-specific reversal

requirement. The latter is formally characterized as

Cross-Anchoring, a playful variation of the normal

correspondence-theoretic anchoring constraints that are part of

the phonological grammar. Under the combined pressure of

Cross-Anchoring and high-ranking prosodic form constraints, the

argot distorts each ordinary-language base word in the minimal

way, otherwise echoing it as faithfully as possible. As an

important theoretical result, the analysis presents empirical

evidence that prosodic faithfulness needs to be gauged in terms

of foot-structural roles, and not (or, not exclusively) in terms

of whole foot-sized constituents. Overall, the study demonstrates

that the notion of "minimal distortion" operative in argot

formation is none else but the principle of minimal violation of

a set of ranked constraints, the fundamental tenet of Optimality


[This paper, previously distributed as ROA-99, contains an

expanded section on formal issues regarding correspondence

between strings. The current version (which has appeared in

Journal of East Asian Linguistics 5, 217-294, 1996) supersedes

all earlier versions.]
Type:Paper/tech report
Article:Version 1