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Title:Systemic Contrast and the Diachrony of Spanish Sibilant Voicing
Authors:Travis G. Bradley, Ann Marie Delforge
Comment:(To appear in Historical Romance Linguistics: Retrospectives and Perspectives, ed. by Deborah Arteaga and Randall Gess. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.)
Abstract:Dispersion Theory formalizes the structuralist notion of systemic contrast within a constraint-based phonological framework (DT; Flemming 1995, 2002, Ní Chiosáin & Padgett 2001, and Padgett 2003a,b,c). This paper analyzes patterns of sibilant voicing throughout the history of Spanish, from the loss of medieval voiced sibilants through their reemergence in several contemporary dialects. Phonetic effects in sibilant voicing are adequately explained by a distinction between obstruents that are phonologically specified for [voice] and targetless, neutral obstruents that undergo gradient voicing by phonetic interpolation (Ernestus 2003, Steriade 1997). It is possible to incorporate a non-contrastive phonetic category because in DT, systemic constraints govern the well-formedness of phonological contrasts.
Type:Paper/tech report
Area/Keywords:Phonology,Phonetics,Historical Linguistics
Article:Version 1