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CHAIN SHIFTS AS CONTRAST TRANSFORMATION



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CHAPTER 1 CHAIN SHIFTS AS CONTRAST TRANSFORMATION 1 1 Statement of the Problem This dissertation provides an account of chain shift mappings in terms of preserving contrasts cf Kirchner 1996 Kisseberth 1976 In a phonological chain shift underlying A maps onto surface B and underlying B maps onto surface C Thus there is a chain shift effect of the form A B C Finnish vowel shift Anttila 1995 Harrikari 1999 2000 Lehtinen 1967 McCawley 1964 provides an example In Finnish before the plural suffix i similarly before the past tense marker i long low vowels shorten aa a short low vowels undergo rounding and raising a o and short round vowels surface unchanged o o Thus we have the following chain shift effect 1 Finnish chain shift aa a o Some examples are given in 2 2 singular nominative kattaa roof maa earth plural essive katta i na ma i na a o kissa vapa cat fishing rod kisso i na vapo i na o o talo pelko house fear talo i na pelko i na aa a 1 The key issue is that in Finnish forms with underlying long low vowels shorten but do not round aa a o but forms with underlying short low vowels undergo rounding in the same context a o Chain shifts present a challenge to Optimality Theory in its original form OT is output oriented phonological processes like aai ai and ai oi bring output forms into conformity with high ranking markedness constraints The existence of these processes in Finnish indicates that two markedness constraints informally aai and ai dominate antagonistic faithfulness constraints But with both markedness constraints high ranked we expect underlying aai to go all the way to oi thereby satisfying both markedness constraints The expected but incorrect mapping is illustrated in 3 3 Expected mapping cf 1 aa a o Even though chain shifts are problematic for classic Optimality Theory they are part of a synchronic mechanism of the grammar and we need to be able to account for them formally Some examples of vowel height chain shifts come from Bass Bantu Schmidt 1996



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