Obstruent voice

In this module, we study a voicing alternation in which an obstruent's value for the feature [voice] is sensitive not to the characteristics of a sound segment adjacent to it, but rather, to the target segment's position in the syllable. Thus, this sound process is not assimilatory, but rather, is an example of a process affecting sounds that occur in particular structural positions.

Remember that in a sound alternation, a phoneme A surfaces as a sound X in one context but as sound Y in another. Oftentimes, contextual differences that affect the surface structures of sounds occur when morphemes combine in different ways. In the discussion of voicing that follows, then, we see what happens when noun and verb roots ending in consonants occur before suffixes whose forms differ.

In the first file, we work out in detail how to do a distributional analysis for this problem, and provide an analysis that uses linear rules. In the second file, we develop a basic optimality theoretic (OT) analysis for this sound phenomenon.

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