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Title:Surface Identity and Ternary Scales in Spanish Voicing Assimilation
Authors:Carlos-Eduardo Pineros
Comment:38 pages. Requires SILDoulous IPA93 fonts
Abstract:Surface Identity and Ternary Scales in Spanish Voicing Assimilation

Carlos-Eduardo PiƱeros

University of Iowa

This paper argues that voicing assimilation is partial in Spanish

because it is the best way to satisfy the conflicting requirements that

two different types of correspondence relationships impose on output

segments. While output segments must remain faithful to their input,

they are also required to resemble neighboring segments. Partial

voicing assimilation is a harmonic solution to these conflicting

demands, where neither of these imperatives is completely

subordinated to the other. Rather, they are both partially met. To

capture these facts, it is essential to conceive featural correspondence

as a bi-directional relationship so that faithfulness/identity can be

assessed in terms of both loss and gain of feature values. The use of

ternary scales also contributes to our understanding of assimilation

processes and sound inventories. On a ternary scale, attraction is a

type of assimilation in which adjacent scalar values are enough to

satisfy surface identity. The only markedness constraint in the

grammar that is concerned with voicing is *IV2, which penalizes voiced

obstruents only, since they are the only segmental class where voicing

is actually a marked property. Several important generalizations about

Spanish are also gained by using markedness constraints that militate

against marked scalar values only. It is shown that Spanish has no

underlying voiced fricatives. However, partially voiced and fully voiced

fricatives arise as optimal output segments when they contribute to

enhance surface identity.
Type:Paper/tech report
Article:Version 1