|Title:||Nasalization, Neutral Segments, and Opacity Effects|
|Comment:||1998 UCSC disseration, downloadable by chapter. Spectrograms are not included in chapter 4. For copies of spectrograms, please contact the author|
|Abstract:||Nasalization, Neutral Segments, and Opacity Effects
UC Santa Cruz
This thesis explores cross-linguistic variation in nasal harmony. The
goal is to unify our understanding of nasal harmony so that patterns
across languages conform to one basic character and to examine the wider
implications of this account for phonological theory.
The analysis builds on generalizations from a comprehensive survey
documenting variation in three descriptive sets of segments in nasal
harmony: targets, which become nasalized, blockers, which remain oral
and block spreading, and transparent segments, which remain oral but
do not block. The typological generalizations established by this study
provide strong support for a unified view of nasal harmony in which
variation is limited in a hierarchical fashion.
To capture cross-linguistic variation, this analysis draws on a
phonetically-grounded constraint hierarchy ranking segments according
to their incompatibility with nasalization (building on Schourup 1972;
Pulleyblank 1989; Piggott 1992; Cohn 1993c; Padgett 1995c; Walker 1995).
Constraint ranking and violability, fundamental concepts in Optimality
Theory (Prince and Smolensky 1993), also play a crucial role. Ranking
a [nasal] spreading constraint at all points in relation to the
hierarchy of violable nasalization constraints achieves precisely the
attested set of patterns.
Another typological discovery is that transparent segments pattern with
targets and should be regarded as belonging to this set of segments. A
theoretical consequence is that [nasal] spreading never skips a segment,
finding new support for strict segmental locality (Ni Chiosain and Padgett
1997; cf. Gafos 1996). The resulting challenge is determining what
produces surface-transparent outcomes. Building on early derivational
approaches (e.g. Clements 1976; Vago 1976), I propose to analyze segmental
transparency as a derivational opacity effect. Following McCarthy (1997)
and extensions by Ito and Mester (1997a), I achieve derivational opacity
effects in Optimality Theory through a correspondence relation between the
actual output and a designated "sympathetic" (failed) member of the
candidate output set. Sympathetic correspondence realizes transparency
by selecting the output most closely resembling the nasal character of the
fully-spread sympathetic form, while respecting nasal incompatibility
constraints for segments that behave transparent. Importantly, by
bringing segmental transparency under the wing of derivational opacity,
transparency-specific representations can be eliminated from the theory.
Chapter 1 presents background. In chapter 2, I develop a unified
description and analysis of a cross-linguistic typology of nasal harmony.
Chapter 3 turns to the analysis of transparent segments and a case study
of nasal harmony in Tuyuca. Chapter 4 presents an acoustic study of nasal
harmony forms in Guarani which verifies that voiceless stops are truly
surface-transparent. In chapter 5 I consider other proposals for the
analysis of transparent segments, and in chapter 6 I examine other
phenomena that may be mistaken for [nasal] feature spreading. Nasal
agreement in Mbe forms a case study involving reduplication.