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Title:On the Syllabification of Prevocalic /w/ in Judeo-Spanish
Authors:Travis G. Bradley
Comment:To appear in Romance Linguistics: Structures, Interfaces, and Microparametric Variation ed. by Pascual J. Masullo, Erin O'Rourke, and Chia-Hui Huang. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
Abstract:Spanish prevocalic glides belong to the syllable nucleus except when no less sonorous segment is available to serve as onset (Harris 1983, Harris & Kaisse 1999, Hualde 1989, 1991). Phonological innovations in a particular group of Judeo-Spanish dialects point to a novel generalization regarding the labiovelar glide, namely that /w/ is realized as secondary labialization on a preceding consonant. Evidence supporting this structural innovation comes from an asymmetry in the distribution of labialization. In these dialects, prevocalic /w/ strengthens to a labialized dorsal obstruent in syllable-initial position but is realized as a secondary articulation on a preceding labial or dorsal. Labialized coronals are disallowed and show several historical reflexes depending on the coronal's manner of articulation: nasal place assimilation, medial vowel epenthesis, and prothesis. These innovations are analyzed in Optimality Theory in terms of interacting markedness and faithfulness constraints. The proposed account has implications for the issue of possible repair strategies, a.k.a. the 'too-many-solutions' problem.
Type:Paper/tech report
Article:Version 1