THE PHONOLOGY OF HUNGARIAN VOWEL CLUSTERS
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Hiatus, i.e., a heterosyllabic sequence of adjacent vowels, constitutes a dispreferred configuration in a number of languages. Some languages disallow the occurrence of hiatus altogether; others prevent some instances from arising by various means but let others surface or resolve them in some surface-phonological manner. The diverse means of avoiding hiatuses, resolving potential hiatuses, or breaking up actual ones, include elision of one or the other vowel, diphthong formation or glide formation, vowel coalescence, as well as epenthesis of a default consonant, capturing a 'floating' consonantal melody or the spread of some (consonantal) melody from one of the vowel positions flanking the empty onset position. This paper surveys the major hiatus avoidance/resolution patterns that are attested in Hungarian (these turn out to include nearly all of the logically possible patterns). In particular, elision of the first vowel (szomorR-odik 'become sad'), that of the second vowel (kocsi-Rn 'on a cart'), diphthong formation (autó 'car'), consonant epenthesis (karcsú-s-it 'make slim'), floating consonant realisation (a-z-alma 'the apple'), as well as hiatus resolution in the strict sense (fi(j)]ú 'boy') are discussed in more or less detail. In the second part of the paper, these phenomena are given an optimality theoretic analysis.
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