Krämer (2000)

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Krämer, Martin. 2000. 'Voicing alternations and underlying representations: the case of Breton', Lingua 110.9:639-663.


 abstract
 The alternations in obstruent voicing in the dialect of Breton found on the ile de Groix are particularly interesting, since three modes of neutralisation can be observed: 
 (i) final devoicing, i.e., obstruents surface as voiceless in syllable or word-final position; 
 (ii) obstruent voicing, which is observed when a word-final obstruent is followed by a vowel or sonorant-initial word, and 
 (iii) regressive as well as progressive voicing assimilation, which is found in obstruent clusters. 
 The respective patterns give evidence for the following claims: first, [voice] is a binary valued feature and underspecification is a third option in Breton. The Breton voicing phenomena will be accounted for within the Correspondence Markedness version of Optimality Theory. Second, the analysis crucially relies on the devices of positional markedness and positional faithfulness. Neither can be rejected in favour of the other. The last finding of this paper is that voicing assimilation in Breton is a side effect of the interaction of positional faithfulness and positional markedness. There is no evidence to assume a specific assimilation constraint, as is usually done in the Optimality theoretic literature on voicing assimilation.