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Romance lenition

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Abstract

This paper proposes an OT account of diachronic and synchronic Romance lenition based on the theory of Comparative Markedness. The analysis, contrary to previous analyses, allows for a straightforward description of synchronic allophonic lenition processes where voicing and spirantization take place simultaneously without loss of contrast. The comparative markedness analysis of lenition not only allows for a parallel OT description of counter-feeding opacity in synchronic Gran Canarian, Corsican and Sardinian lenition, but moreover makes understandable why sound change should start out in a counter-feeding fashion.

References

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