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Publication Detail
Saltation and the P-map
We define a saltatory phonological alternation as one in which sound A is converted to C, leaping over a phonetically intermediate sound B. For example, in Campidanian Sardinian, intervocalic [p] is realized as [β] — leaping over [b], which does not alternate. Based on experimental evidence, we argue that saltatory alternation is a marked phenomenon, in the sense that a UG bias causes language learners to disprefer it. However, despite its marked status, saltation does arise from time to time in the world’s phonologies; we survey the diachronic origins of saltation and suggest that it is never introduced as a sound change, but arises only incidentally from a variety of historical accidents. Lastly, we propose a new approach to the formal analysis of saltation, based on Zuraw’s (2007, 2013) idea of *MAP constraints and Steriade’s (2001, 2008) notion of the P-map. Under our proposal, saltation is predicted to be disfavored, since by definition it is not P- map-compliant. We argue that this approach can account for the psycholinguistic evidence for learning bias and is more restrictive than previous proposals.
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