Fixed and variable properties of the palatalization of dental stops in Brazilian Portuguese

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Assuming that unranked constraints generate variation and that features can reoccur at various levels in the segmental tree, the variable palatalization of dental stops in a speech variety of Brazilian Portuguese is analyzed as a process which is applied in order to link C(Aperture) of high vowels to a higher consonantal position, explaining the cross-linguistic tendency of high vowels to spread to preceding segments. A mixed approach which includes the representation of segments and the set of constraints referring to vowels and the metrical grid is adopted to explain the different rates of palatalization by underlying high vowels and raised vowels.


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