Derived Environment Blocking Effects in Optimality Theory

  • T. A. Hall


The present study examines a particular kind of rule blockage – referred to below as ‘Derived Environment Blocking’ – which has not been recognized to date in the literature. Derived Environment Blocking (DEB) occurs if a phonological process is prevented from deriving a sequence of sounds [XY], but underlying (i.e. nonderived) /XY/ sequences are permitted to surface as [XY]. It will be argued below that Derived Environment Blocking effects can be captured in Optimality Theory in terms of a general ranking involving Faithfulness and Markedness constraints and that individual languages invoke a specific instantiation of this ranking. DEB will be compared to Comparative Markedness (McCarthy 2003) and it will be shown that the former approach is preferable to the later.


General Ranking Contour Segment Markedness Constraint Faithfulness Constraint Front Vowel 
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© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Germanic StudiesBallantine Hall 644 Indiana UniversityBloomington, Indiana47405-7103USA

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