Aspiration 'dissimilation' in Tangkhul Naga prefixation

Deepthi Gopal


In Tangkhul Naga, obstruent-initial prefixes are strictly unaspirated if followed by any stem-initial obstruent, and aspirated before stem-initial sonorants (Arokianathan 1987, Mortensen 2003, Shosted 2007). I argue that this pattern is best modeled as the interaction of apparently contradictory penalties on both agreement and disagreement, and that this may be problematic for theoretical approaches in which assimilation and dissimilation do not arise independently, but instead are driven by the same mechanism.


Tangkhul; Optimality Theory; Agreement by Correspondence

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