Scholz, Sybil (2003). The Status of Coronals in Standard American English . An Optimality-Theoretic Account. PhD thesis, Universität zu Köln.


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Coronals are very special sound segments. There is abundant evidence from various fields of phonetics which clearly establishes coronals as a class of consonants appropriate for phonological analysis. The set of coronals is stable across varieties of English unlike other consonant types, e.g. labials and dorsals, which are subject to a greater or lesser degree of variation. Coronals exhibit stability in inventories crosslinguistically, but they simultaneously display flexibility in alternations, i.e. assimilation, deletion, epenthesis, and dissimilation, when it is required by the contradictory forces of perception and production. The two main, opposing types of alternation that coronals in SAE participate in are examined. These are weakening phenomena, i.e. assimilation and deletion, and strengthening phenomena, i.e. epenthesis and dissimilation. Coronals are notorious for their contradictory behavior, especially in alternations. This type of behavior can be accounted for within a phonetically grounded OT framework that unites both phonetic and phonological aspects of alternations. Various sets of inherently conflicting FAITHFULNESS and MARKEDNESS constraints that are needed for an OT analysis of SAE alternations are intoduced.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD thesis)
CreatorsEmailORCIDORCID Put Code
Scholz, Sybilsybil.scholz@uni-koeln.deUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
URN: urn:nbn:de:hbz:38-12943
Date: 2003
Language: English
Faculty: Faculty of Arts and Humanities
Divisions: Ehemalige Fakultäten, Institute, Seminare > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Englisches Seminar
Subjects: English
Uncontrolled Keywords:
coronals , Optimality Theory , Standard American English , phonetics , phonologyEnglish
Date of oral exam: 4 February 2004
NameAcademic Title
Erickson, JonProf. Dr.
Refereed: Yes


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