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Title:Dissimilation as Local Conjunction
Authors:John Alderete
Comment:In Kiyomi Kusumoto (ed.), Proceedings of North East Linguistics Society 27, pp., 17-31, Amherst, MA: GLSA.
Abstract:While the OCP has been an essential tool in describing the distribution
of phonological features, a fundamental problem arises when it is
applied to the analysis of dissimilation processes and segmental
cooccurrence restrictions. Such phenomena typically rule out more than
one *marked* element in a domain; but the OCP says nothing about the
markedness of the elements involved. To account for the correlation
between activity in a process and the markedness of target and trigger,
adjunct theories of feature specification are required, but these
theories have been shown to have many unsatisfactory consequences,
essentially because unmarked features can be active in ways that do not
involve the OCP.

In this paper, the problem of correctly correlating phonological
activity and markedness is handled with the following proposal:
dissimilation results from the force of markedness constraints,
self-conjoined in a local context. Because of the role of markedness in
the proposal, the correlation between activity in a process and the
markedness of target and trigger is directly explained, as in Smolensky
1993. Further, the approach to dissimilation as local self-conjunction
resolves two additional problems identified for the traditional verison
of the OCP. First, the proposal straightforwardly generalizes to cases
of dissimilation which are not represented in autosegmental phonology.
Second, dissimilation as local conjunction provides a natural account of
the inactivity of coronals in Place cooccurrence restrictions: the
analysis stems from the equation, marked segments = active segments;
because coronals are unmarked relative to a harmony scale, they are
inactive in dissimilation.

N.B.: the supplementary material is the handout to a talk given at the
Rutgers/UMass Joint Class Meeting II (UMass-Amherst, May 1996). Beyond the
central ideas developed in the NELS paper, it gives a formalization of a set
of locality relations necessary for non-constituent-based locality
requirements, an analysis of vowel dissimilation in Woleaian and Arusa, and a
discussion of the formal parallels between dissimilation and assimilation.
Type:Paper/tech report
Article:Part 1
Part 2