Nasal substitution and the limited role of *NC̥ in Malay Dialects

Date
2018-06-01
Authors
Sharifah Raihan Syed Jaafar
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11
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1
Starting Page
35
Ending Page
46
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Abstract
This paper discusses the phonological restriction placed on voiceless obstruents following a nasal segment. It has previously been claimed by Malay scholars that such clusters are not permitted to take place in the surface representation in the Malay language. Therefore, nasal substitution is applied to the clusters to prevent them from occurring at the surface level. This does not, however, apply to the clusters that occur root-internally. The discussion of the phonological issue in this analysis is based on the data of three selected dialects of Malay, namely, Perak, Kelantan and Negeri Sembilan. The data reveals that nasal and voiceless obstruent clusters occurring root-internally might undergo a repair strategy, namely, nasal deletion, this means that segments in roots are not fully preserved as previously claimed. Also, the data from these dialects prove that voiced obstruents following a nasal segment at prefix boundaries may also undergo nasal substitution as voiceless obstruents do. The presence of nasal substitution in nasal-plus-voiced obstruent clusters, in particular, shows the limited role played by *NC̥ as it only allows voiceless obstruents to undergo nasal substitution. Hence, it is proposed that the Optimality Theory constraint CRISP-EDGE[σ] plays a role in accounting for both voiced and voiceless obstruent nasal substitution.
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nasal substitution, *NC̥, Malay dialects, Optimality Theory
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12 pages
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