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Title:Typological Consequences of Local Constraint Conjunction
Authors:Elliott Moreton, Paul Smolensky
Comment:To appear (a bit shorter) in WCCFL 21.
Abstract: Phonological opacity has become the subject of several competing analyses in both rule- and constraint-based phonology. One, local constraint conjunction in Optimality Theory, is shown here to predict a typology of possible and impossible synchronic chain shifts involving epenthesis and deletion. The predictions, which do not follow from the other analyses, appear to be borne out by language data.
In local conjunction, two Optimality-Theoretic constraints C and C' are combined into a new constraint (C & C')D which is violated if there is a representational domain D within which both C and C' are violated. This mechanism has been used to account for two kinds of opacity: chain shifts (Kirchner 1996) and derived-environment effects (Lubowicz 2002). This paper is about the chain shifts.
In order for C and C' to be conjoined, there must be a common domain D within which both can be violated. In the framework of Correspondence Theory (McCarthy & Prince 1995), certain constraint families inherently cannot share domains, and hence cannot be locally conjoined. The phonological processes corresponding to the impossible conjunctions are predicted not to occur.
Segmental DEP constraints are violated by a surface segment with no underlying correspondent; segmental MAX constraints, by an underlying segment with no surface correspondent. Therefore, no domain can contain both a DEP and a MAX violation, and the conjunction (DEP & MAX) is ruled out. It is shown that this entails the impossiblity of chain shifts of the the form AxB->AB-> AzB.
A review of 35 chain-shift cases to date has found all of them to conform. An apparent counterexample (Donegan & Stampe 1979) is examined and refuted. The typological pattern is taken to support the local-conjunction account, which is the only one which predicts it.
Type:Paper/tech report
Area/Keywords:Phonology,Formal Analysis
Article:Version 1