MULL-lab will be meeting this Tuesday, September 27th at 3:30 pm. Meetings will take place in Rm. 002 of the Linguistics department, with a Zoom room open for those unable to join us in person.
This week, Martin from the University of Toronto will be presenting a talk entitled: “Stem and Initial Segment Faithfulness in Kanien’kéha. The abstract is below.
Kanien’kéha (Mohawk) features the rhotic phoneme /r/, which has a marked distribution: it occurs freely in stems, but is generally absent from inflectional affixes, and the few instances of inflectional /r/ that do exist systematically debuccalize to /h/ when not in initial position. I argue that these data call for an OT analysis in terms of positional faithfulness (Beckman 1998), specifically to stems and initial segments. The similar notions of root and initial syllable faithfulness, although better-established in the literature, do not suffice to account for this pattern. The contribution of this work is thus both empirical, by analyzing an underdocumented pattern, and theoretical, by proposing two new kinds of positional faithfulness. Stem faithfulness also has useful implications for language revitalization efforts.
Please register in advance HERE to receive the Zoom link. You can also share this link with others who may want to join