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Title:A constraint-based analysis of syllabification in Spanish, Catalan, and Galician
Author(s):Colina, Sonia
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Hualde, Jose Ignacio
Department / Program:Spanish, Italian and Portuguese
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Language, Linguistics
Language, Modern
Abstract:The overall goal of this dissertation is to contribute to current research in theoretical linguistics as well as to improve our understanding of syllabification in general and specifically in Spanish, Catalan and Galician. It is my claim that syllabification data in Spanish, Catalan, and Galician offer support for a constraint-based model of phonology and that such a model provides insights into syllabification processes not available under other frameworks.
I propose an Optimality Theoretic (OT) analysis that accounts for the distribution of onsetless syllables and for resyllabification processes in the three languages under study, and that shows the relatedness of resyllabification, lack of resyllabification and onset maximization. Universal constraints--structural and associational--are responsible for the effects attributed to sonority scales. Evidence in favor of associational and structural constraints as well as language specific ranking is provided by the analysis of diphthongs and hiatus. The ill-formedness of a glide as a nucleus in Catalan and Galician, i.e. domination of *COMPLEX N over ONSET, explains the lack of rising diphthongs in the former languages. Similarly, the ranking of the associational constraint against parsing a high vocoid in a coda, i.e. *C/I, U, with respect to structural constraints, i.e. ONSET, accounts for the existence of falling diphthongs in all three languages. The lack of onset glides in Spanish is explained as resulting from the interaction of associational and structural constraints.
A unified treatment of epenthesis and deletion, an account of why epenthesis may be preferred over deletion and vice versa, and an explanation of epenthesis/deletion site is provided. A set of universal constraints and language-specific ranking explain initial, medial, final and plural epenthesis, deletion or lack thereof in Spanish, Catalan, and Galician.
This dissertation shows that a constraint-based analysis of syllabification can easily account for differences in Spanish, Catalan, and Galician. Furthermore, the OT approach offers a unified account of the syllabification facts by revealing the relatedness of processes that previous models could not capture, such as glide epenthesis and onset glides in Galician and Catalan, and, in Spanish, the lack of glide epenthesis and the marginal status of onset glides.
Issue Date:1995
Rights Information:Copyright 1995 Colina, Sonia
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9543560
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9543560

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