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Phonology Circle 12/6 - Suyeon Yun

Speaker: Suyeon Yun (MIT)
Title: Implicational Universals in Compensatory Lengthening: A phonetically-based OT approach
Time: Monday 12/6, 5pm, 32-D831

Based on a crosslinguistic survey, Yun (2010) argues that the typological patterns of compensatory lengthening are not “hard” universals as suggested in the previous works (Hayes 1989, Kavitskaya 2002) but more adequately described as implicational relationships; (i) if the deletion of prevocalic consonants triggers compensatory lengthening, so does the deletion of postvocalic consonants, (ii) if the deletion of obstruents triggers compensatory lengthening, so does the deletion of sonorants, and (iii) if the deletion of non-adjacent consonants triggers compensatory lengthening, so does the deletion of adjacent consonants. It is shown that these typological patterns of compensatory lengthening are not random but originate from relevant phonetic and perceptual grounding. Based on the difference in relative perceptibility between the deleted consonants, the typological patterns of compensatory lengthening are explained by the universal rankings of perceptually-driven faithfulness constraints, adopting the P-map hypothesis (Steriade 2009). Also, language-specific patterns of compensatory lengthening can be analyzed in terms of variable interactions between the proposed faithfulness constraints and Id[V-length] prohibiting the change of input vowel length. To conclude, this phonetically-based OT account can explain both universal and language-specific patterns of compensatory lengthening in a unified way. Based on Yun (2010), this talk will give a more unified account of compensatory lengthening, more generally duration preservation, adding more data of compensatory lengthening through vowel deletion.

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