Morphological derived-environment effects in gestural coordination: A case study of Norwegian clusters
This paper examines morphophonological alternations involving apicoalveolar tap-consonant clusters in Urban East Norwegian from the framework of gestural Optimality Theory. Articulatory Phonology provides an insightful explanation of patterns of vowel intrusion, coalescence, and rhotic deletion in terms of the temporal coordination of consonantal gestures, which interacts with both prosodic and morphological structure. An alignment-based account of derived-environment effects is proposed in which complete overlap in rhotic-consonant clusters is blocked within morphemes but not across morpheme or word boundaries. Alignment constraints on gestural coordination also play a role in phonologically conditioned allomorphy. The gestural analysis is contrasted with alternative Optimatity-theoretic accounts. Furthermore, it is argued that models of the phonetics-phonology interface which view timing as a low-level detail of phonetic implementation incorrectly predict that input morphological structure should have no effect on gestural coordination. The patterning of rhotic-consonant clusters in Norwegian is consistent with a model that includes gestural representations and constraints directly in the phonological grammar, where underlying morphological structure is still visible. On the assumption that Universal Grammar lacks faithfulness constraints on input timing, the phonology is free to include non-contrastive phonetic detail such as intersegmental gestural coordination without the danger of overgenerating impossible contrasts. (c) 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.