|Title:||The Phonology and Morphology of Romanian Glides and Diphthongs: A constraint-based approach||Add Dissertation|
|Author:||Ioana Chitoran||Update Dissertation|
|Email:||click here to access email|
|Institution:||Cornell University, Department of Linguistics|
|Linguistic Subfield(s):||Morphology; Phonetics; Phonology;|
|Abstract:||This dissertation is a first attempt at providing a comprehensive descriptive analysis of the synchronic phonology and morphology of Romanian, focusing on the distribution of glides and diphthongs. The analysis proposed to account for the facts is couched in the framework of Optimality Theory (Prince and Smolensky 1993, McCarthy and Prince 1993), thus testing the predictions made by the theory in an in-depth study of one linguistic system.
In Romanian, all glides, epenthetic and non-epenthetic, can be analyzed as derived from underlying vowels. The systematic analysis of the stress system of Romanian shows that, for a significant part of the vocabulary, the distribution of high vowels and glides is predicted by the stress pattern. Contrary to previous descriptions of Romanian stress as purely lexical, I show that the stress pattern is only apparently unpredictable, due mainly to its complex interaction with morphological structure. According to the analysis proposed, primary stress is assigned by right edge prominence on the rightmost syllable of the stem, while secondary stress is assigned by foot structure on the rest of the word.
The surface occurrence of high vowels and glides is also predicted by the internal organization of the lexicon, by factors such as degree of nativization of a word, its frequency of usage, and register. Constraints which refer to these factors are shown to block gliding, thus ensuring that a surface distinction is maintained between native and non-native words.
The distribution of the diphthongs [ea] and [oa], problematic in a derivational approach, is accounted for by treating diphthongization as resulting from the pressure on the mid vowels /e/ and /o/ to lower under stress. Vowel harmony constraints conflict with vowel lowering, thus blocking diphthongization in certain forms.
Additional information on glides and diphthongs is found in their acoustic structure. The phonological analysis and representations proposed for these segments are supported by the results of an integrated perception-production study of the diphthongs, and by a phonetic survey of glides and high vowels. The findings reinforce the importance of integrated phonological-phonetic studies in providing linguistic information.