Authors

Joe PaterFollow

Publication Date

January 2014

Abstract

The distribution of the raised variants of the Canadian English diphthongs is standardly analyzed as opaque allophony, with derivationally ordered processes of diphthong raising and of /t/ flapping. This paper provides an alternative positional contrast analysis in which the pre-flap raised diphthongs are licensed by a language-specific constraint. The basic distributional facts are captured with a weighted constraint grammar that lacks the intermediate level of representation of the standard analysis. The paper also provides a proposal for how the constraints are learned, and shows how correct weights can be found with a simple, widely used learning algorithm.

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