Re: [tied] Glen's Strange Rule

From: Piotr Gasiorowski
Message: 8655
Date: 2001-08-22

An observant reader will have noticed that my hypothetical examples require at least one other constraint to work as shown:
(2a) No vowel deletion in initial syllables.
If (2) and (2a) are in conflict, (2) takes precedence and (2a) is overridden, so that /a/ will be elided even in the first syllable, and what we get is:
tiruk-, tirak- -> tirk-
taruk- -> truk-
tarak- -> tark- (here both /a/'s cannot be elided, so the one protected by (2a) stays)
Again, I wonder if you have any examples of the third type among your reconstructions.
----- Original Message -----
From: Piotr Gasiorowski
Sent: Tuesday, August 21, 2001 11:49 PM
Subject: Re: [tied] Glen's Strange Rule

A vowel may become "unstressable" for various reasons. Your "Strange Rule" is less strange than many I have seen. Imagine a hypothetical language in which the folowing principles operate:
(1) As few underlying vowels as possible should be realised.
(2) Underlying /a/ is the preferred target of elision.
(3) Stress must be word-initial.
There will be other constraints as well, defining permissible syllable structure and minimal word shapes (e.g. "The stressed syllable must contain a vowel") and therefore preventing the deletion of some vowels, but I'm interested here only in the interaction of (1), (2) and (3). An underlying sequence like /tiruki/ will be realised as ['tirki] (if, say, final clusters like [-rk] are not permitted), but /taruki/ will be realised as ['truki], since *['tarki] would violate (2) while satisfying (1) and (3) to the same extent as ['truki]. In cases like /taraki/, ['tarki] and ['traki] are equally well-formed and the resulting tie may be resolved by constraints not discussed here (e.g. if the language avoids complex onsets, ['tarki] may turn out to be preferable to ['traki]). I wonder what happens to such words in your model.