• 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.