It is all downhill from here: A typological study of the role of Syllable Contact in Romance languages

Cláudia Pons-Moll

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    9 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    The main purpose of this paper is to show that Syllable Contact is responsible for the application of an extensive set of processes drawn from Romance languages and to explore the nature and effects of this constraint within Optimality Theory (OT) on the basis of the analysis of these phenomena. All the processes under examination entail a change in manner of articulation and are the following: a) regressive manner assimilation in some varieties of Catalan and in Languedocian Occitan, b) alveolar fricative rhotacism in Majorcan Catalan, dialects of Sardinian and dialects of Galician and c) alveolar fricative gliding in Languedocian Occitan. The analysis of these processes leads to two important theoretical implications. First, it provides strong empirical evidence that SYLLABLE CONTACT cannot be regarded as a single constraint which categorically bans coda-onset clusters with rising sonority, but rather should be broken down into a universal hierarchy of constraints targeting all possible sonority distances between adjacent heterosyllabic segments, as originally suggested by Murray and Vennemann (1983) and implemented within OT in Bat-El (1996), Gouskova (2001, 2002, 2004), Baertsch (2002) and Baertsch and Davis (2003, 2005, 2007) (see Pons 2004a, 2005a). Second, it sheds new light on the ordering within the sonority scale of certain classes of sounds, namely liquids and obstruents, whose positions have traditionally been controversial. © 2011 Walter de Gruyter.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)105-173
    JournalProbus
    Volume23
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2011

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