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Title:Restrictions on direction of voicing assimilation
Authors:Linda Lombardi
Abstract:Restrictions on direction of voicing assimilation

Linda Lombardi

University of Maryland, College Park

In Lombardi (1996) I propose a set of constraints within the

framework of Optimality Theory that accounts for the cross-

linguistic patterning of laryngeal neutralization and regressive

voice assimilation in obstruent clusters. A positional

faithfulness constraint is crucial toi the analysis, demanding

faithfulness to the voicing of a released onset consonant (the

position of the Laryngeal Constraint of Lombardi 1991, 1995). The

interaction of positional faithfulness and markedness (*Lar)

gives laryngeal neutralization. Regressive assimilation is a

result of the interaction of positional faithfulness with a

phonetically motivated constraint preferring adjacent obstruents

to agree in voicing. The assimilation constraint is not

inherently directional; regressive direction comes from the

interaction of this constraint with positional faithfulness.

These basic constraints predict that voicing assimilation will

always be regressive, which it is in the vast majority of cases,

but cases of progressive assimilation do exist. In this paper I

show that such cases occur only in limited environments that can

be shown to involve the activity of additional constraints

outranking the basic positional faithfulness constraints.

Type:Paper/tech report
Article:Version 1