|Systemic markedness and faithfulness
|Armin Mester, Junko Ito
|To appear in CLS 39
|Phonological patterns, whether viewed synchronically or as they change over time, can be explained only with reference to the larger system of oppositions that they are part of.
This paper explores the development of sibilants and front glides before front vowels in the historical phonology of Japanese. Taking up recent work in Dispersion Theory (Flemming, Padgett), the guiding idea is that the computation of wellformedness for individual items in OT has an irreducible systemic component in terms of both markedness and faithfulness, including constraints that require oppositions to be maintained, and to be perceptually robust.