Alternating environment in the analysis of derived environment effects

Małgorzata Ćavar


In this article it is argued that the so-called derived environment effects can be explained in terms of the alternating environment without reference to the notion of derivation. The notion of the alternating environment refers to the surface sequences of segments across the paradigm, and goes back to Timberlake (1972). In the article, earlier OT approaches are discussed. It is argued that the solution based on the assumption that the stem-particular faithfulness constraints are ranked over general faithfulness constraints, as proposed for example in Pater (1999), cannot be applied to Polish because it is stem consonants that undergo palatalization (and are unfaithful). Another approach, by Lubowicz (1998, 2002) relying on the violation of the local conjunction of the constraint inducing palatalization with Anchor constraint (correspondence of the right-most segment of the stem in the input to the rightmost segment of a syllable in the output) does not cover the whole range of palatalization effects in Polish (as well as in Slovak and Basque). Thus, it is argued that the solution in terms of the alternating environment offers a more general solution to the derived environment effects.


optimality theory, morphology, phonology, Polish

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