2004 | 101 | 57-90
Article title

An optimality theoretic account of Hungarian H-type segments

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This paper discusses the possible analyses of the behaviour of (h), //, (x) and (x' in Hungarian. In a rule-based, derivational framework, // and (x are clearly derived from(h) and (x), respectively, and therefore the main issue is how to account for the distribution of (h) vs. (x). Two types of analyses are possible: one that assumes two separate underlying segments, /h/ and /x/, and thus misses the generalisation that the two segments are in complementary distribution. The second kind of approach claims that (h) and (x) come from the same underlying segment; this type of analysis can be further divided into two subtypes depending on whether the common underlyer is claimed to be /h/ or /x/. Besides, the behaviour of these segments in voice assimilation is also discussed: they trigger but do not undergo that process. Siptar and Törkenczy (2000) suggest that by assuming a filter that disallows surface voiced dorsal fricatives, the desired result is obtained. Optimality Theory which argues that both /h/ and /x/ (as well as // and /x/, for that matter) may occur in the input and the constraint hierarchy must be such that they should always select well-formed output candidates as optimal regardless of the input. As a result of Lexicon Optimisation, non-alternating forms will have /h/ or /x/ (or // or /x/) in their underlying representation depending on (i.e., identical with) the output forms while alternating forms may have underlying /h/ or /x/ (or // or /x/) as selected by an alternation sensitive version of Lexicon Optimisation. Finally, the treatment of the behaviour of these segments in voice assimilation is quite simple in Optimality Theory if we assume a constraint prohibiting voiced dorsal fricatives that, interacting with the ones suggested by Petrova et al. (2001) to account for voice assimilation in general, is able to select.
  • P. Siptar, no address given, contact the journal editor
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