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OT ACCOUNT OF REGRESSIVE VOICING ASSIMILATION IN MODERN HEBREW AND RUSSIAN

Abstract

The topic of this paper is voicing assimilation (VA) in Modern Hebrew and Russian. In obstruent clusters, both in Modern Hebrew and Russian, the voiced labio-dental fricative [v] does not cause regressive VA, yet undergoes it itself. I propose an optimality-theoretical account of RVA in Russian and Hebrew that views RVA as a result of faithfulness and markedness constraints interaction. To account for the idiosyncratic behavior of the labio-dental [v], I adopt Padgett’s (2002) view that [v] has a status intermediate between sonorants and obstruents. The evidence for this claim comes from the aerodynamic properties of [v], which is described as a narrow approximant, meaning that it is weakly fricated when voiced and strongly fricated when voiceless. This approach allows to group [v] both with obstruents and sonorants and treat it accordingly in the OT analysis.

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Samokhina, N., (2004) “OT ACCOUNT OF REGRESSIVE VOICING ASSIMILATION IN MODERN HEBREW AND RUSSIAN”, Journal of Second Language Acquisition and Teaching 11, p.81-92.

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Natalya Samokhina (University of Arizona)

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0

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This article has been peer reviewed.

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