Catalan nasal assimilation &

consonant cluster simplification

In this module we discuss the interaction of two sound processes, nasal assimilation and cluster assimilation in Catalan. We will also provide an OT analysis that accounts for these sound phenomena and the way in which they interact.

The sound classes that will be important in the discussion that follows are:

  • The class of nasal consonants. The nasal phonemes in Catalan are /m n ɲ/. As we will see, Catalan /n/ also has a velar allophone [ŋ] that surfaces before another velar. In features, nasals are specified as [+sonorant, -continuant, +nasal].
  • The class of obstruents, which includes oral stops and fricatives (and affricates, in languages that have them). Obstruents are defined by the feature [-sonorant].

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