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Title: Italian word-initial consonant clusters in Optimality Theory
Authors: Bortolin, Leah
Keywords: Linguistics;Italian language;Phonology;Speech Prosody;Constraints (Linguistics);Optimality theory (Linguistics)
Issue Date: Jan-1998
Publisher: University of Calgary
Citation: Bortolin, L. (1998). Italian word-initial consonant clusters in Optimality Theory. Calgary Working Papers in Linguistics, 20(Winter), 19-28.
Abstract: Despite the attention given to optimality theory (OT), only a small portion of prosodic theory has been addressed under this framework. It is my intention to discuss the implications of OT when it is applied to word-initial consonant clusters in Italian. Davis (1990) describes the restrictions placed on Italian word-initial consonant clusters by outlining syllable formation constraints and a language specific minimal sonority distance which is measured between two adjacent consonants. In this paper, I demonstrate that OT theory cannot apply a sonority hierarchy (or margin hierarchy) within the onset consitituent. That is, the theory cannot compare two adjacent elements within one constituent. By adding an affinity constraint, possible onsets and possible nuclei can be established under OT. Furthermore, lists of possible C1s and C2s can be provided; however, the model cannot ensure that minimal sonority distancing will be fulfilled.
ISSN: 2371-2643
Appears in Collections:Volume 20, Winter 1998

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