Natural Language & Linguistic Theory

, Volume 27, Issue 1, pp 197–224

Diverse repairs for multiple labial consonants

Open Access
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s11049-008-9061-1

Cite this article as:
Zuraw, K. & Lu, YA. Nat Lang Linguist Theory (2009) 27: 197. doi:10.1007/s11049-008-9061-1


The relationship between constraints on surface forms and operations that alter representations is of central interest in phonological theory. This squib presents a case of diverse “repairs” in response to a marked structure—labial … labial sequences—created by um-infixation in stems beginning with (or, in some cases, merely containing) labial consonants in Austronesian languages. We review several strategies, which for the most part do not cluster according to subfamilies: tolerance, gaps, loss of stem consonant, loss of infix nasality, stem dissimilation, infix dissimilation, prefixation, and non-realization of infix. The evidence indicates that avoidance of these sequences applies only within the root-and-infix domain, and only in derived environments. This diversity of repairs seems unexpected if changes should be perceptually minimal; we suggest possible explanations.


Infixation Austronesian Obligatory Contour Principle Dissimilation, heterogeneity of process Too-many-solutions problem Phonological typology 
Download to read the full article text

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of LinguisticsUniversity of California, Los AngelesLos AngelesUSA
  2. 2.Department of LinguisticsStony Brook UniversityStony BrookUSA

Personalised recommendations