Idiosyncratic Hiatus Resolution: An Argument for Gradient Harmonic Grammar

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DOI:

https://doi.org/10.3765/amp.v10i0.5459

Keywords:

Gradient Harmonic Grammar, phonological idiosyncrasy, hiatus resolution, Palauan, vowel reduction

Abstract

This paper discusses implications for generative theories of phonological idiosyncrasy, based on two vowel reduction patterns exhibited in Palauan. First, the process involves multiple degrees of idiosyncrasy; in cases of stress shift, vowels may surface faithfully, reduce to some unpredictable degree, or delete entirely. Second, the process involves unpredictability with respect to the patterning of tautomorphemic vowels with respect to hiatus resolution. We show that Palauan vowel reduction and hiatus resolution receive a parsimonious analysis in Gradient Harmonic Grammar (Smolensky & Goldrick 2016), a weighted constraint system in which individual segments and features are specified for non-integer degrees of activity (i.e. presence) in input forms. By proposing that vowels in Palauan may be specified for distinct input activity values, we are able to capture the idiosyncratic patterning of individual vowels within these two processes.

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Published

2023-05-13

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Section

Supplemental Proceedings