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Title:A constraint based approach to Spanish phonology
Author(s):Morales-Front, Alfonso
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
Abstract:The goal of this dissertation is to argue for a Constraint-based Approach to phonology. The term "constraint-based" is used in opposition to the term "rule-based." In a rule-based approach, rules are at the core and constraints are filters that limit the overgeneration inherent to rules. In a constraint-based approach, the role of rules is minimum and it is compliance with well-formedness constraints that drives phonology.
In the first part, after a contrastive presentation of the R-bA and the C-bA, I outline the problems that the R-bA faces when dealing with the interaction of rules and constraints, language change and variation, UG, and cognitive plausibility. The centrality of the issues and the difficulties experienced to provide solutions, reveal the inadequacy of the most basic assumptions of the R-bA. With respect to these problems, the C-bA has a clear advantage.
After concluding in chapter I that the C-bA is well motivated, I offer in chapter II a contrastive review of the three major theoretical options within the C-bA. Namely, The Theory of Constraints and Repairs Strategies (TCRS), Declarative Phonology (DP) and Optimality Theory (OT). For these three theories I consider, what a constraint is, what the role of rules is, how constraints interact and how would each theory account for the weak points of the R-bA. My conclusion is that OT is at this point 'the optimal theory'. Chapter III is devoted to present additional assumptions within OT.
In the second part of the dissertation I offer three case studies that correspond to three major divisions of Spanish phonology. I consider in chapter IV the sub-segmental level and propose an optimality-theoretic treatment of underspecification. Following the distribution of the prosodic hierarchy I provide in chapter V an optimality account for syllabification and stress assignment. In these analyses I show that for Spanish phonology, a C-bA within the framework of OT results in a simpler, more intuitive and explanatory account of the data.
Issue Date:1994
Rights Information:Copyright 1994 Morales-Front, Alfonso
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9512491
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9512491

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