Morphological Exceptions to Vowel Reduction in Central Catalan and the Problem of the Missing Base

Joan Mascaró


A certain class of Central Catalan compounds characterized by a first component that lacks a related output word is discussed and analyzed in connection with Vowel Reduction and Destressing. The first component of these compounds contains a vowel [a, ɛ, ɔ] that undergoes Destressing before the stressed vowel of the second component, but does not reduce. This causes an opacity problem because the generalization that there are no unstressed [a, ɛ, ɔ] is not surface-true for these cases. An analysis in the framework of parallel OT with output-to-output constraints is examined in detail and the function that returns the base of the relevant constituent in the candidates being evaluated is made precise. It is shown that such an analysis is not feasible. After showing that compounds have internal constituent structure even under noncompositional semantics, a Stratal OT analysis is presented that can handle such cases.


compounds; Central Catalan; Vowel Reduction; Destressing; opacity; output-to-output constraints; Stratal OT; compositionality

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