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Underapplication of vowel reduction to schwa in Majorcan Catalan productive derivation and verbal inflection

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Abstract

In Majorcan Catalan, the process of vowel reduction of the mid front vowels to schwa in unstressed position underapplies under certain circumstances: <i>(</i>a) in productive derived forms with an unstressed vowel located in the initial syllable of the stem which alternates with a stressed mid front vowel in the stem of the underived form (<i>p</i>[&#233;]<i>ix </i>&#8216;fish&#8217; &#732; <i>p</i>[e]<i>ixet </i>&#8216;fish <i>dim</i>.&#8217;); <i>(</i>b) in verbal forms with an unstressed vowel located in the initial syllable of the stem which alternates with a stressed close mid front vowel in another verbal form of the same inflectional paradigm (<i>p</i>[&#233;]<i>ga </i>&#8216;(s/he) hits&#8217;<i> </i>&#732; <i>p</i>[e]<i>gam </i>&#8216;(we) hit&#8217;); <i>(</i>c) in learned and loan words with an unstressed <i>e</i> located in the initial syllable of the stem (<i>p</i>[e]<i>culiar </i>&#8216;peculiar&#8217;). In this paper I propose a novel explanation of these patterns framed within a relativized version of the Transderivational Correspondence Theory (TCT) (Benua 1997/2000), the Optimal Paradigms model (OP) (McCarthy 2005), the Positional Faithfulness Theory (Beckman 1998/1999) and the prominence driven approach to vowel reduction (Crosswhite 1999/2001, 2004).

References

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