Fricative-affricate alternations in Catalan

Eulàlia Bonet, Maria Rosa Lloret

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


© 2018 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston. Catalan has a [t] alternation that has traditionally been viewed as the consequence of final affrication of an underlying /?/, a fortition operation, followed by general devoicing of obstruents. This interpretation has been held in classical generative rule-based approaches and also in autosegmental models, amounting either to a highly specific process or, when an attempt is made to generalize it, to wrong predictions; these shortcomings are also applicable to optimality-theoretic analyses. Following ideas in (Wheeler, Max W. 2005. The phonology of Catalan. Oxford: Oxford University Press), we propose that underlying affricates are subject to intervocalic lenition triggered by independently motivated general constraints. Sequences of a stop followed by a fricative can become affricates but cannot be affected by lenition. The interaction between affricates and gemination is also discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)215-249
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 28 Aug 2018


  • Catalan
  • affricate
  • fortition
  • fricative
  • lenition


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