Depalatalization in Spanish revisited

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A well-known fact of the phonology of Spanish is the non-occurrence of palatal nasals and laterals in syllable-final position (e.g., <i>desd&#233;n-desde&#241;ar</i>, <i>clavel-clavellina</i>). Some scholars have recently claimed that they are lexical remnants that should be treated in terms of allomorphy (cf. Pensado 1997, Harris 1999). In this paper, we examine the empirical basis of depalatalization, we provide evidence for maintaining depalatalization as an actual phenomenon by appealing also to the phonology of borrowings and to other cases of place centralization, and we provide a parallel OT account of these facts. Overapplication of depalatalization in onset position in plural and diminutive forms (e.g., <i>desdenes</i>, <i>claveles</i>, <i>clavelito</i>) is analyzed as an output-output effect, in line with work by Bakovi&#263; (1998, 2001) with respect to the plural cases. In our view, however, this output-output effect extends to diminutives because it is restricted by the strongest version of &#8216;base&#8217; proposed in Kager (1999a,b).


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