Directionality and the Coda Condition


  • Andrew Lamont Indiana University



It is well established that major place assimilation in coda-onset clusters is typically regressive (Webb 1982, Ohala 1990, Mohanan 1993, Jun 1995, 2004, among others). Stemming from earlier work in Autosegmental Phonology (Steriade 1982, Ito 1986, 1989), the Coda Condition has been maintained in Optimality Theory as a restriction on place features in coda position (Prince & Smolensky 1993/2004, Ito & Mester 1994, Zoll 1998, McCarthy 2007, 2008), militating regressive assimilation in heterorganic clusters. An alternate analysis places the explanatory locus within the domain of faithfulness (Shryock 1996, Beckman 1998, Bakovic 2007), employing a directionally apathetic Coda Condition. These two approaches largely overlap in their predicted typologies, though they differ on the status of progressive and bidirectional assimilation systems. An asymmetric markedness constraint disallows progressive place assimilation; its symmetric counterpart allows progressive place assimilation but other constraints disfavor it. This paper compares the predictions made by these alternatives with cross-linguistic data to argue in favor of a directionally apathetic Coda Condition.






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