Constraint Re-ranking in Three Grammars

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In NorthCentral Peninsular Spanish there are at least three different realizations of coda /b d ɡ/: voiceless fricatives (Northern dialect), voiced fricatives (Central dialect I), and voiced stops (Central dialect II). This paper proposes an analysis of the three patterns within the framework of Optimality Theory and explores whether constraint re-ranking is sufficient to distinguish among the three. It is shown that reranking alone fails to account for Central dialect II, and that constraint conjunction also needs to be invoked to capture the data while the connection to the other two dialects is maintained. This suggests that spirantization and coda devoicing might coexist in the grammars of closely related dialects but they do not have to interact in the same way. In addition, the analysis is based on acoustic data and shows the importance of phonetic data for phonological investigation.


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