Dispersion Theory and Reduplicative Fixed Segmentism

by Philip Spaelti

Dispersion Theory has been used convincingly to provide accounts of phonological inventories. Recent work by Padgett (2003) has shown that it can also be used to explain other effects in phonology as well. Here the system developed by Padgett is applied to a problem from prosodic morphology-fixed segmentism in reduplication. This has previously been analyzed as an Emergence of the Unmarked effect by Alderete et al. (1999). This account still treats fixed segmentism as an Emergence of the Unmarked effect, but explains the vowel quality as the result of the emergence of an unmarked vowel inventory. This has an added advantage in that it also permits an account of systems where the fixed segmentism takes on more than one vowel quality.

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