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Title:Surface Opacity of Metrical Structure in Optimality Theory
Authors:Rene Kager
Comment:31 Full paper version of handout from Tilburg Derivational Residue conference, October 1995(ROA #93a)
Abstract:Surface opacity of metrical structure in Optimality Theory

Rene Kager

University of Utrecht

This paper (originally presented at the Tilburg conference

on "The Derivational Residue in Phonology", October 1995;

see handout ROA-93a) proposes a correspondence analysis of

cyclic stress-related alternations in Palestinian and

Tripoli Arabic. While similar in spirit to analyses to

analyses of syncope in Palestinian by Kenstowicz (1995) and

Steriade (1996), this paper covers additional interactions

with vowel epenthesis, as well as a more detailed analysis

of the stress system.

Section 2 focusses on data from Palestinian Arabic that

involve opacity of syncope with respect to surface stress

patterns, comparing derivational theory and OT with respect

to transderivational effects. The notion of 'base' in B/O

correspondence (a compositionally related output form)

predicts morphological relationships under which two forms

display phonological identity effects. This notion of 'base'

predicts that transderivational relationships involve output

forms, a prediction which does not follow from derivational


Section 3 extends the analysis to a-syncope in Tripoli

Arabic. Its most interesting aspect is a triple interaction

of a-syncope, i-syncope, and i-epenthesis. The discussion

focusses on the possibility that a form's surface phonology

reflects both 'faithfulness' constraints and paradigmatic

constraints. This argues for parallel evaluation of output

forms, in the sense that both base and input are accessible

simultaneously. Parallelism is shown by the activity, within

a single constraint hierarchy, of constraints evaluating I/O

correspondence and B/O correspondence.

Section 4 discusses interactions of purely metrical

constraints and correspondence constraints, on the basis of

the Palestinian Arabic stress system. It integrates metrical

constraints into a ranking together with the correspondence

constraints which were argued for in Section 2 on the basis

of vowel-zero alternations and base-identity effects. This

analysis predicts a property that caused troubles to earlier

derivational analyses: epenthetic vowels may be stressed

'under duress', due to foot well-formedness.
Type:Paper/tech report
Article:Version 1