Weak position constraints : the role of prosodic templates in contrast distribution


  • David J. Holsinger




I argue in this study that consonantal strength shifts can be explained through positional bans on features, expressed over positions marked as weak at a given level of prosodic structure, usually the metrical foo!. This approach might be characterized as "templatic" in the sense it seeks to explain positional restrictions and distributional patterns relative to independently motivated, fixed prosodic elements. In this sense, it follows Dresher & Lahiri's (1991) idea of metrical coherence in phonological systems, namely, "[T]hat grammars adhere to syllabic templates and metrical patterns of limited types, and that these patterns persist across derivations and are available to a number of different processes ... " (251). [...] The study is structured as follows: section 1 presents a typology of distributional asymmetries based on data from unrelated languages, demonstrating that the stress foot of each of these languages determines the contexts of neutralization and weakening of stops. Section 2 elaborates the notion of a template, exploring some of its formal properties, while section 3 presents templatic analyses of data from English and German. Section 4 explores the properties of weak positions, especially weak onsets, in more detail, including discussion of templates in phonological acquisition. Section 5 summarizes and concludes the study.






Holsinger, David J. 2000. „Weak Position Constraints : The Role of Prosodic Templates in Contrast Distribution“. ZAS Papers in Linguistics 19 (Januar):91-117. https://doi.org/10.21248/zaspil.19.2000.69.