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Compensatory Lengthening

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Chapter Summary

Compensatory lengthening occurs when the featural content of a nucleus or moraic coda is deleted, or becomes reaffiliated with a nonmoraic position-typically an onset-and the vacated mora, instead of being lost, is retained with new content. This chapter discusses the question: How can a single constraint systems impose two different syllabifications on one and the same consonant cluster? in detail on the basis of two instances of compensatory lengthening which are even harder than Luganda. One, from Finnish, is new to the theoretical literature. The other, from Samothraki Greek, has received several recent analyses, all vitiated by the neglect of crucial parts of the data. It turns out that they are resistant not only to parallel OT, but also to Hayes'rule-based autosegmental approach. The chapter shows that Stratal OT deals with them in a way that salvages the key insight behind the autosegmental theory of compensatory lengthening.

Keywords: compensatory lengthening; constraint systems; Hayes'rule-based autosegmental approach; Stratal OT; syllabifications



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