1. Issues in Dutch devoicing: Positional faithfulness, positional markedness, and local conjunction
The voice phenomena of Dutch are among the most complex and elusive described in the (theoretical) literature of the past few decades (Lombardi 1999, Wetzels & Mascaró 2001). This paper starts by giving a comprehensive overview of the pertinent facts, and then shows how theories such as the rule-based framework and nonlinear Principles and Parameter theory have struggled to come to grips with them. The point of the paper’s second half is a demonstration of how in Optimality Theory, Lombardi’s theory of voice is well equipped to cover Dutch, specifically its awkward language-specific phenomena of fricative devoicing and past tense progressive assimilation, assuming the mechanism of local conjunction (and, in fact, self-conjunction), involving the in itself uncontroversial *LAR (‘no voice (on an obstruent)’) constraint. Pace earlier accounts, the proposed analysis preserves the privativity of the feature [voice], and – within OT – the ‘positional faithfulness’ spirit of Lombardi’s approach to voice.