Prefix boundaries in Spanish varieties

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The special phonology of prefixes has often been used to provide arguments for rule ordering or special devices in Optimality Theory. I examine three cases of special behavior in varieties of Spanish: aspiration of /s/ to [h] in Carribean (Harris 1993); velarization of /n/ to [ŋ] in Granadan (Hualde 1992); and the non-fortition of /j/ to [Š] in Argentinian, where otherwise expected (Harris and Kaisse 1999). In all three, prefix-final output segments match word-final outputs in those dialects. Therefore, I analyze prefixed words as containing an internal word boundary, as [pre[fix]PW]PW (Peperkamp 1997), and propose a constraint (family) which prefers weaker forms of consonants at prosodic boundaries, Weak|PW. “Weak” consonants may undergo debuccalization (Lavoie 2000) or resist fortition (Baker and Wiltshire 2003). The account provides for syllabification and segmental alternations at prefix and word edges in a non-derivational OT.


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