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Croatian Voicing Assimilation in Optimality Theory

Veno Volenec

Puni tekst: hrvatski pdf 857 Kb

str. 178-192

preuzimanja: 390


Puni tekst: engleski pdf 857 Kb

str. 178-192

preuzimanja: 336



In this paper Croatian voicing assimilation was described within the framework of
contemporary Optimality Theory, which is based on the interaction of universal, violable
and ranked constraints. This research had two main goals. The first goal was to provide a
complete and accurate formal description of Croatian voicing assimilation in Optimality
Theory, currently one of the dominant research paradigms in generative phonology. The
second goal was to modify the universal set of constraints by postulating a new, phonetically
based positional faithfulness constraint IDENT-PS[voice], thus altering the way voicing assimilation
should formally be described in OT phonology. By applying the OT framework on
Croatian voicing assimilation, certain overlooked facts about its relation to Croatian syllable
structure have emerged, most notably the fact that voicing assimilation in Croatian always
occurs in the direction from the phonologically weaker segment toward the phonologically
stronger segment, where phonological strength is determined by the segment’s proximity to
the most sonorous part of the syllable – it’s nucleus. In addition, reasons for the regressive
direction of this assimilation have been formalized and explained. By postulating the new
faithfulness constraint IDENT-PS[voice], which assigns one violation mark to each case in
which the voicing of the input segment is not identical to the voicing of the output segment
in the position before a [+sonorant] segment, Optimality Theory has been enriched with a
new hypothesis about the nature of the universal grammar.

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