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Title:It is all downhill from here: The role of Syllable Contact in Romance languages
Authors:Claudia Pons-Moll
Comment:Paper presented at the 13th Manchester Phonology Meeting (May 2005, Manchester) and the Conference on Manner Alternations in Phonology (June 2005, Berlin)
Length:29 pages
Abstract:The purpose of this paper is to explore, on the basis of a quite extensive set of processes drawn from Romance languages, the nature and the effects of the SYLLABLE CONTACT constraint in Optimality Theory. In order to achieve that, we investigate and formalize a) the process of regressive manner assimilation that applies in some varieties of Catalan as well as in Lenguadocian Occitan, 2) the processes of onset strengthening and epenthesis that occur in Catalan, 3) the process of 's' rhotacism that is found in Majorcan Catalan, in some dialects of Sardinian and in some dialects of Galician, among other Romance languages, 4) the process of 's' gliding that arises in Lenguadocian Occitan, and, finally, 5) the selection between epenthesis and deletion in word-initial consonantal clusters violating the minimum sonority distance constraints in Catalan. The analysis of these processes, most of them not considered in the literature devoted to SYLLABLE CONTACT, leads to some important theoretical implications: a) SYLLABLE CONTACT should not be regarded as a single constraint which categorically bans coda-onset clusters with rising sonority, but it should be decomposed into a universal hierarchy of constraints targeting all possible sonority distances between adjacent heterosyllabic segments, as originally suggested by Murray & Vennemann (1983), formalized in OT terms by Bat-El (1996) and Gouskova (2001, 2002, 2004), and applied to Romance languages in Pons (2003b, 2004a, 2005b); b) the sonority scale in Catalan should distinguish flaps and trills, the latter being less sonorous, as previously proposed for Catalan and other Romance languages in Bonet & MascarĂ³ (1997), Parker (2002), Pons (2004a, 2005b); c) the sonority scale of Catalan should treat separately voiced and voiceless stops, the latter being less sonorous, as traditionally put forward in some studies devoted to syllable structure (see, for instance, Steriade 1982, for Attic Greek; Davis 1990, for Italian; and Blevins 1995).
Type:Paper/tech report
Article:Version 1