[Author Login]
Title:A reassessment of Old English Compensatory Lengthening
Authors: Hideo Kobayashi, Peter M. Skaer
Comment:Presented in part as a poster at the 4th Phonetics and Phonology in Europe (PaPE) June 22, 2021; and at the 28th Germanic Linguistics Annual Conference (GLAC), April 1, 2022.
Length:20 p.
Abstract:This article investigates the explanatory capability of Optimality Theory (OT) in accounting for Old English compensatory lengthening (OECL) arising from the loss of /x/ and the avoidance of the hiatus that accompanies the loss of /x/. Our findings suggest that the constraint h-DROP can possibly account for the obligatory loss of /x/ in production when flanked by two inter-syllabic sonorants. We also seek to determine whether the cue constraint */n -VCF/ helps account for the perceptual absence of the nasal in the coda, such as [finf] (auditory form) > /fi:f/ (phonological surface form) ‘five.' Regardless of the types of OECL, its nature appears to be controlled by a faithfulness constraint that allows for mora preservation – that is, the mora belonging to the sonorant appears to stay with the initial syllable even after the sonorants affiliate to the ultimate syllable in the genitive singular form, and when the nasal coda deletes. The constraint interactions arising from such perspectives – both in production and perception – are notably lacking in the relevant literature on the source language--we attempt to shed light on these processes.
Type:Paper/tech report
Area/Keywords:Old English, compensatory lengthening, moraic theory, Optimality Theory
Article:Version 1