Segmental Blocking in Dissimilation: An Argument for Co-Occurrence Constraints

Juliet Stanton


Most contemporary work assumes that dissimilation is motivated by featural co-occurrence constraints: a process that maps /X...X/ to [X...Y] (for example) is explained by positing a ban on co-occurring [X]s (e.g. Alderete 1997, Suzuki 1998; though cf. Bennett 2015). I show how this approach can be extended to analyze the typology of segmental blocking effects in long-distance consonant dissimilation, and provide evidence from lexical statistics in support of the analysis. Preliminary results indicate that the proposed analysis makes more accurately restrictive predictions than available alternatives.


Dissimilation; Blocking; Optimality Theory

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Copyright (c) 2017 Juliet Stanton

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