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Title: The opacity of s-irregular verbs in Korean: confronting Optimality Theory approaches
Authors: Lee, Joan
Keywords: Linguistics;Korean language;Phonology;Optimality theory (Linguistics);Markedness (Linguistics)
Issue Date: Sep-2011
Publisher: University of Calgary
Citation: Lee, J. (2011). The opacity of s-irregular verbs in Korean: confronting Optimality Theory approaches. Calgary Working Papers in Linguistics, 27(Fall), 1-14.
Abstract: In Korean phonology, the vowel ɨ deletes when it appears in a vowel hiatus context across the boundary between a root word and a suffix (e.g. [pe:na] (/pe:-ɨna/) 'since (it) goes'). The class of “s-irregular verbs”, however, exhibits opacity in that ɨ fails to delete in some surface forms although the conditioning environment appears to be present. Instead, these verbs undergo a process of vowel shortening (e.g. [kɨəsə] (/kɨ:s-əsə/) 'marks and'), despite the fact that long vowels are allowed in other forms as shown above. This paper treats the underapplication of ɨ-deletion and the overapplication of vowel shortening as potentially two instances of opacity exhibited by the same class of verbs in Korean. Standard Optimality Theory (OT) cannot model problems of opacity, but other OT approaches for dealing with opaque processes have been proposed. I show that Comparative Markedness (McCarthy 2003) is a more suitable OT approach in accounting for the opacity of these s-irregular verbs compared to Sympathy Theory (McCarthy 1999) and Contrast Preservation Theory (Lubowicz 2003), although not without new implications.
ISSN: 2371-2643
Appears in Collections:Volume 27, Fall 2011

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