• 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.