The Domain of Palatalization in Romanian

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In Romanian, word final /-i/ is usually not pronounced as a vowel, but rather as a type of glide, or palatal property associated with the preceding segment. While this palatalization or “desyllabification” has been assumed to apply at the right edge of a word, we demonstrate that the word boundary does not provide the appropriate context. Instead, we propose that the phenomenon applies within a phonological constituent located in the prosodic hierarchy between the Phonological Word and the Phonological Phrase – the Composite Group, a revised form of the Clitic Group. Our analysis accounts for both enclitics and proclitics, which must be excluded from the PW of the associated root since the PW is the domain for stress assignment. The analysis in terms of the Composite Group accounts for the different domains of palatalization and stress assignment while avoiding the introduction of recursion (recursive PWs) into phonological structure.


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