The Proceedings of the South Western Optimality Theory Workshop is a conference publication of the Linguistics Circle and the Department of Linguistics at the University of Arizona.

Proceedings of the South Western Optimality Theory Workshop 1995. (Arizona Phonology Conference Volume 5). Edited by Keiichiro Suzuki and Dirk Elzinga.

Excerpt from the Preface:

This volume contains papers presented at the first South Western Optimality Theory Workshop (SWOT I), held at the University of Arizona on April 28, 1995. Not included is the paper presented by Donca Steriade (UCLA).

Recent Submissions

  • Preface (Arizona Phonology Conference, Volume 5, 1995)

    Suzuki, Keiichiro; Elzinga, Dirk (Department of Linguistics, University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ), 1995)
  • The Role of the Root in Segmental Representations

    Zoll, Cheryl; Suzuki, Keiichiro; Elzinga, Dirk; University of California, Berkeley; University of California, Santa Cruz (Department of Linguistics, University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ), 1995)
  • Repetition and its Avoidance: The Case in Javanese

    Yip, Moira; Suzuki, Keiichiro; Elzinga, Dirk; University of California, Irvine (Department of Linguistics, University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ), 1995)
    It is argued that echo -words result from the tension between a requirement that penalizes a sequence of two identical stems, *REPEAT(Stem), and one that requires two identical stems, REPEAT(Stem). Based primarily on data from Javanese, I make three main points. First, at least some inputs to the Optimality Grammar must be abstract morphological specifications like PLURAL. They are phonologically incomplete outputs of the morpho-syntax. Second, morpheme realization results from an attempt to meet output targets in the form of constraints: REPEAT, σ₂ =a; PL=s, and so on. Such morphemes do not have underlying forms in the familiar sense (cf Hammond 1995, Russell 1995). Third, the target constraints may be out -ranked by phonological constraints of various kinds, particularly constraints against the repetition of elements, here called *REPEAT. The elements may be phonological (feature, segment) or morphological (affix, stem). These findings support the view of Pierrehumbert (1993a) that identity has broad cognitive roots. The primary data comes from Javanese, but the paper also touches on English and Turkish. Section 1 gives some background on the handling of morphological data in OT. Section 2 discusses identity avoidance in morphology, sets out the basic proposal, and gives sketches of English and Turkish. Section 3 is an extended discussion of Javanese. Section 4 looks at secret languages, and section 5 sums up.
  • Prosodic & Morphological Constraint: An Optimality Account of Alabama Negation

    Takano, Yuji; Suzuki, Keiichiro; Elzinga, Dirk; University of California, Irvine (Department of Linguistics, University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ), 1995)
  • Double-sided Effect in OT: Sequential Grounding and Local Conjunction

    Suzuki, Keiichiro; Suzuki, Keiichiro; Elzinga, Dirk; University of Arizona (Department of Linguistics, University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ), 1995)
    In a standard SPE-style rewrite rule scheme, the positioning of the environmental dash ("__") directly expresses both adjacency and linear precedence relations between the focus and the determinant. For example, all of the three rules in (1) involve A-to-B alternation, but differ with each other in the focus (A) - determinant (X, Y) relation: in (1a), A becomes B when preceded by X; in (1b), A becomes B when followed by Y; and in (1c), A becomes B when double -sided (preceded by X and followed by Y). (1) a. A → B / X __ b. A → B / __ Y c. A → B / X __ Y Thus, in this model, both adjacency and linear precedence relations are treated as properties of a rule. This view has been carried over to subsequent work in some guise or other (see, e.g. Howard 1972, Cho 1991, Archangeli and Pulleyblank (A&P) 1994). The question to be addressed here is how these various focus -determinant relations are expressed if there are no rules (see McCarthy 1995b for a recent treatment of this issue). In this paper, I would like to consider this question from the perspective of Optimality Theory (henceforth OT) (Prince and Smolensky 1993, McCarthy and Prince (M&P) 1993). Specifically, I consider the three types of focus-determinant relations seen in (1) with respect to the phenomenon of vowel raising. We find that the variation of vowel raising among Basque, Old High German, and Woleaian parallels the variation illustrated in (1): in many dialects of Basque, a low vowel raises to a mid vowel when preceded by a high vowel (de Rijk 1970, Hualde 1991) ( =1a); in Old High German, a low vowel raises to a mid vowel when followed by a high vowel (Voyles 1992) ( =1b); and in Woleaian (spoken in Woleai Island of Micronesia), a low vowel raises to a mid vowel when double-sided by high vowels (Howard 1972, Sohn 1975, Poser 1982) ( =1c). I argue that all of these cases are accounted for by allowing constraints to make reference to the adjacency and linear precedence information. Formally, I propose the following two notions: Sequential Grounding (Smolensky 1993), a syntagmatic extension of Grounded Conditions (A &P 1994), and Local Conjunction (Smolensky 1993, 1995), a UG-operation which conjoins two constraints (details of these notions are explained in section 2.2.2.). This paper is organized as follows. Section 2 provides data and an analysis of the double -sided raising in Woleaian, introducing Sequential Grounding (Smolensky 1993) and Local Conjunction (Smolensky 1993, 1995). I show that Local Conjunction of two Sequential Grounding constraints accounts for the fact that one adjacent high vowel on either side is not sufficient to trigger the raising, but there must be a high vowel on each side. Section 3 gives brief analyses of Basque and Old High German. I demonstrate that reranking of the constraints proposed for the double -sided raising in Woleaian accounts for the other cases of raising (Basque and Old High German). Finally in section 4, the summary of the analyses and conclusion are provided.
  • Typological Variation Through Constraint Rankings: Low Vowels in Tongue Root Harmony

    Pulleyblank, Douglas; Jiang-King, Ping; Leitch, Myles; Ola, Nike; Suzuki, Keiichiro; Elzinga, Dirk; University of British Columbia (Department of Linguistics, University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ), 1995)
    One of the fundamental claims of Optimality Theory is that by varying the rankings of universal constraints, different grammars result (Prince & Smolensky 1993). Just as the ranking A » B should define an occurring language, so should the ranking B ≫ A. In this paper, we examine this claim in the domain of tongue root harmony systems, specifically with respect to the behaviour of low vowels. We examine cases where the relative ranking of faithfulness conditions and alignment conditions is varied with respect to substantive conditions governing low vowels. Our primary conclusions are twofold. First, we find that the types of typological variation expected to occur do occur; six different types of harmony patterns are presented. Second, we note that a large degree of variation is attested in a very narrowly defined area of the phonology. This paper begins by a basic discussion of the formal constraints assumed to govern vowel harmony, followed by a discussion of a case where low vowels harmonise in a manner comparable to other vowels (Degema). We then turn to six cases (five languages) where we observe asymmetric behaviour. First, we discuss cases involving constraints against feature "insertion" and feature "spreading ", constraints of the faithfulness family (Yoruba, Konni, Ngbaka-Ma'bo). Second, we turn to cases involving constraints of the alignment family, cases where harmony exhibits directional asymmetries (Ngbaka-Ma'bo, Emalhe, Maasai).
  • Partial Class Behavior and Nasal Place Assimilation

    Padgett, Jaye; Suzuki, Keiichiro; Elzinga, Dirk; University of California, Santa Cruz (Department of Linguistics, University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ), 1995)
  • Synchronically Unified Ranking and Distribution of Voice in Japanese

    Ohno, Sachiko; Suzuki, Keiichiro; Elzinga, Dirk; University of Arizona (Department of Linguistics, University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ), 1995)
    It is well known that there are four classes of Japanese vocabulary with respect to its origin; Yamato vocabulary consists of native morphemes, Sino- Japanese consists of borrowed morphemes from Chinese, Foreign is a loanword from a language other than Chinese, and Mimetic describes sounds or manners. Each of these classes has different phonological properties.1 There are three phenomena with respect to the distribution of voice in Japanese. One of them is that post-nasal obstruents in Yamato vocabulary and Mimetic are mostly voiced while those in Sino-Japanese and Foreign are not. I will mainly focus on this property in this paper. However, I will also discuss the other phenomena, namely the compound voicing alternation (Rendaku) and the restriction of voiced sounds in a morpheme (Lyman's Law). These phenomena typically occur with Yamato vocabulary only. Although the domain of each phenomenon largely overlaps with a certain class of lexical origin, they do not match completely with each other. The purpose of this paper is to account for the distribution of voice in Japanese by establishing a constraint ranking that covers Japanese vocabulary of any origin. The organization of the paper is as follows. In section 2, I will present data and four problems to be solved. General tendency of Yamato vocabulary are summarized in 2.1, and many exceptions to the generalization are presented in 2.2. In section 3, I will give an analysis using a unified ranking rather than different rankings depending on origins of the vocabulary. In section 4, I will present two pieces of evidence --- historical and acquisional---to support my claim that Japanese has only one ranking.
  • A Nonrepresentational Theory of Constrastiveness

    Kirchner, Robert; Suzuki, Keiichiro; Elzinga, Dirk; University of California, Los Angeles (Department of Linguistics, University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ), 1995)
  • An Optimality Account of Tone-Vowel Interaction in Fuzhou

    Jiang-King, Ping; Suzuki, Keiichiro; Elzinga, Dirk; University of British Columbia (Department of Linguistics, University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ), 1995)
    Previous studies on tone-vowel interaction have centered on two issues. The first is the correlation between tone and vowel quality (Pilszczikowa-Chodak 1972, 1975, Newman 1975 for Hausa; Cheung 1973 for Omei dialect of Mandarin; Wang 1968, Maddieson 1976, Yip 1980, Chan 1985 for Fuzhou), and the second is the directionality of the influence between tone and vowel, namely, whether tone affects vowel quality change, or whether vowel quality gives rise to tonal change (Wang 1968, Maddieson 1976, Yip 1980 for Fuzhou; Gandour 1977 for Thai dialects; Yue 1976 for Cantonese, Lianzhou, and Taishan). There have been a number of experimental studies on the first issue. The principal finding among these studies is the correlation between fundamental frequency (F₀) and vowel height. In particular, a high vowel has higher F₀ and a low vowel has lower F₀ (Lehiste and Peterson 1961 for English; Petersen 1976 for Danish; Di Cristo and Chafcouloff 1976 for French; Kim 1968 for Korean; Chuang and Wang 1976, Tsay and Sawusch 1994 for Mandarin; and Sawusch and Tsay 1994 for Fuzhou; etc.). Since tone, defined as linguistic use of pitch, is also primarily identified in terms of F₀ (Gandour 1978), it is natural to ask whether this phonetic correlation between F0 and vowel height manifests itself phonologically in natural languages. In other words, the question is whether there is any empirical evidence suggesting a phonological correlation between tone and vowel height. The evidence for Hausa (an African language principally spoken in Nigeria), for example, is inconclusive. Data is offered both for (Pilszczikowa-Chodak 1972, 1975) and against (Newman 1975) this position. A highly controversial case is Fuzhou, (a Northern Min dialect spoken on the southern coast of China). In Fuzhou, a whole series of finals participate in vowel alternations in accordance with their tonal environment. It has been claimed, on the one hand, that in a tone sandhi environment, a vowel undergoes raising when the tone it occurs with increases its F₀ (Wang 1968). This is characterized as a tone -induced vowel raising process (Yip 1980). I refer to this claim as the "height-correlation" hypothesis. On the other hand, it has been argued that the vowel alternations in Fuzhou involve not only differences in height, but also differences along other dimensions, such as a front/back axis, monophthongs versus diphthongs, etc. (Maddieson 1976, Chan 1985). The "height- correlation" hypothesis, therefore, is not sufficient to explain all instances of tone -related vowel alternation. The implicit assumption behind this debate is that tonal features and vocalic features may interact directly. This yields a more fundamental question as to the nature of this interaction. In other words, whether the interaction between tone and vowels is direct (i.e. feature -to- feature) or indirect (i.e. mediated by something else). Although studies of the second issue are relatively rare, it has been shown that the influence of tones and vowels on each other is bi- directional cross -linguistically. For example, whereas Mandarin and Fuzhou have been cited as cases in which vowel alternations are conditioned by tonal environment (Wang 1969, Wang 1968, Yip 1980), the Yue dialects of Chinese, such as Cantonese, Taishan, and Lianzhou, illustrate the opposite direction of influence (Yue 1976). In Cantonese, for instance, the Yin "entering" tone historically splits into two tones according to their vocalic environment. It is realized with a higher register when the vowel is lax and short, and with a lower register when the vowel is tense and long (Yue 1976:49). A general question that relates to the first issue, then, is whether tone and vowel quality directly influence each other or whether this influence between them is mediated by something else. This article provides a unified account for all vowel distribution and alternation patterns corresponding to tonal environments in Fuzhou, focusing on the prosodic anchor mediating between tones and vowels. Tones and vowels will be claimed not to interact directly (i.e., feature -tofeature), and it will be seen that there is no height correlation between them. Instead, tone -vowel interaction in Fuzhou must be mediated by a prosodic anchor; in this case, the mora; and distinct moraic structures (monomoraic/bimoraic) required by the prelinking of the lexically specified number of tonal roots are what trigger the vowel alternations. The analysis is formulated within the constraint -based grammar of Optimality Theory (OT) (McCarthy and Prince 1993a, b; Prince and Smolensky 1993; Pulleyblank 1994, among others). Contrary to the rule -based approach, OT assumes that Universal Grammar (UG) contains two types of phonological representation: the input and the output. The function Gen freely generates a set of output candidates for each input. UG also contains a set of violable constraints that are ranked on a language- particular basis. The function Eval determines the optimal output, which either satisfies the higher ranked constraints, or has the least violations of the relevant constraints.
  • On Stress Assignment, Vowel-Lengthening, and Epenthetic Vowels in Mohawk: Some Theoretical Implications

    Ikawa, Hajime; Suzuki, Keiichiro; Elzinga, Dirk; University of California, Irvine (Department of Linguistics, University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ), 1995)
    Optimality Theory (OT) developed by Prince and Smolensky (1993) assumes that cross - linguistic phonological variations solely derive from different rankings of universal constraints. A question naturally arises as to the adequate formulations of constraints for types of phonological entities which appear to be parametrized, and constraints which appear to apply in different domains. There are at least two possible ways of formulating them. One is to simply assume that UG contains a single constraint with a parameter for types or domains, and the other is to assume that UG contains distinct constraints for different types and different domains, and that all of them are present in every language. In this paper, based on stress assignment and its interaction with epenthetic vowels in Mohawk, a northern Iroquoian language studied by Michelson (1988, 1989) and Piggott (1 992), and Selayarese, an Oceanic language studied by Mithun and Basri (1 986), Goldsmith (1 990), and Piggott (1992), I will argue for the latter. In particular, I will claim that UG contains distinct FT-FORM constraints for different foot types, and distinct FILL constraints and distinct NONFINALITY constraints for different domains. This paper is organized as follows. Section 2 will introduce the basic facts in Mohawk. Section 3 will provide accounts for the relevant facts under OT, employing distinct FT -FORM constraints for different foot types, and distinct FILL constraints for different domains. Section 4 will refine the proposed accounts based on the facts in Selayarese. Section 5 will introduce two species of NONFINALITY for two different domains. Section 6 will discuss important implications of the accounts proposed in this paper for other aspects of the theory. Section 7 will conclude the paper.
  • Coda Neutralization: Against Purely Phonetic Constraints

    Heiberg, Andrea; Suzuki, Keiichiro; Elzinga, Dirk; University of Arizona (Department of Linguistics, University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ), 1995)
    The neutralization of the laryngeal features of a consonant that is not directly followed by a vowel is a common process cross -linguistically. Laryngeal neutralization in this position has a clear phonetic cause: laryngeal features are not salient unless they are immediately followed by a vowel. Since laryngeal neutralization has a phonetic cause, it seems reasonable to characterize it directly in phonetic terms, without positing any additional layer of phonological abstraction. However, a phonetic explanation is not sufficient to account for all cases of laryngeal neutralization. For example, in Korean, laryngeal neutralization occurs in a nonneutralizing phonetic environment; in Nisgha, laryngeal neutralization occurs only in the reduplicant, although the phonetic environment for neutralization is found in both the reduplicant and the base. Although phonetics is the major factor leading to the development of these types of restrictions on laryngeal features, I argue that a phonetic account is not adequate for all such restrictions. Abstract phonological constraints and representations are necessary. Hence, two types of neutralization are possible: (i) phonetic neutralization, which results directly from the lack of saliency of cues and occurs in every instance of the neutralizing environment; and (ii) abstract phonological neutralization, which may occur where the neutralizing environment is absent (as will be demonstrated for Korean), and may fail to occur in every instance of the neutralizing environment (as will be demonstrated for Nisgha).
  • Phonetic Detail in Phonology

    Flemming, Edward; Suzuki, Keiichiro; Elzinga, Dirk; Stanford University (Department of Linguistics, University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ), 1995)
    Assimilation and coarticulation both involve extending the duration of some property or feature. The similarities between these phenomena can be seen by comparing Basque vowel raising with vowel -to -vowel coarticulation in a language like English. In Basque the low vowel /a/ is raised to [el following a high vowel. This gives rise to alternations in the form of the definite suffix, /-a/ (de Rijk 1970): (1) sagar –a; 'apple (def.)'; mutil-e 'boy (def.)'. In an English sequence containing a low vowel preceded by a high vowel, like [-ilæ-] in 'relapse', the high vowel also conditions raising of the low vowel. But in spite of the parallels between these cases, standard analyses regard Basque vowel raising as phonological whereas the English vowel raising is regarded as non-phonological, being attributed to a phonetic process of coarticulation. In this paper, we will argue that this distinction is untenable. We will see that coarticulation can affect the distribution of contrasts, and therefore must be specified in the phonology. This opens up the possibility of giving a unified analysis of assimilation and coarticulation. Analyzing coarticulation as phonological implies that phonological representations contain far more phonetic detail than is usually assumed to be the case. Vowel-to-vowel coarticulation involves fine degrees of partial assimilation in that vowels assimilate only partially in quality, and the effects may extend through only part of the duration of a segment (e.g. Ohman 1966). This conclusion thus flies in the face of the standard assumption that the richness of phonological representations should be severely restricted in order to avoid over-predicting the range of possible phonological contrasts. So before we turn to evidence that coarticulation is phonological, we will lay the groundwork by examining the arguments for limiting the detail in phonological representations and show that they are based on very questionable assumptions.
  • Restricting Multi-level Constraint Evaluation: Opaque Rule Interaction in Yawelmani Vowel Harmony

    Cole, Jennifer; Kisseberth, Charles; Suzuki, Keiichiro; Elzinga, Dirk; University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (Department of Linguistics, University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ), 1995)
    This paper presents an analysis of vowel harmony in Yawelmani and its interaction with vowel epenthesis and lowering, within the non -derivational, constraint -based model of Optimal Domains Theory (ODT). Kisseberth's (1969) analysis of the Yawelmani system, formulated within classical generative phonology, demonstrates an opaque rule interaction among the rules governing vocalic phonology, and was taken as an important piece of evidence for the notion of rule ordering in generative theory. The challenge in providing a non -derivational analysis of Yawelmani lies in accounting for conditions on vowel harmony which factor in phonological structure that is "inserted" in surface form, as well as structure that is "deleted" from underlying form. This paper presents a restricted means of bringing together information from underlying and surface representations in a theoretical framework that eschews intermediate representations, through the use of abstract (ie., unrealized) feature-domain structure. We discuss problems that arise under an alternative approach in which individual constraints are able to freely inspect structure at both underlying and surface levels of representation.
  • Menomini Vowel Harmony: O(pacity) & T(ransparency) in OT

    Archangeli, Diana; Suzuki, Keiichiro; Suzuki, Keiichiro; Elzinga, Dirk; University of Arizona (Department of Linguistics, University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ), 1995)