Committee: Lisa Davidson (chair), Adam Albright (MIT), Adamantios Gafos, Maria Gouskova, Gregory Guy
The calculation of identity is crucial for the application of the OCP in phonological processes. Depending on whether two segments are sufficiently identical in a language, the OCP effects either apply or do not apply in a particular sequence. Computation of identity also plays an important role in determining co-occurrence restrictions in the lexicon. A number of studies have investigated the nature of co- occurrence restrictions in a wide variety of genetically unrelated languages and the computation of identity that underlies the gradient pattern of co-occurrence restrictions. This dissertation puts forward the proposal that the same notion of identity and the same grammar that is involved in computation of identity in the lexicon is also involved in the computation of identity post-lexically when determining whether the OCP applies in a particular context or not. Taking Telugu as a case study, I show that the grammar that encodes markedness based on the strength of identity in the lexicon and explains the gradient pattern of co-occurrence restrictions in the lexicon in Telugu also explains the gradient pattern of elision seen in the antiantigemination process post-lexically in Telugu.
This dissertation also proposes that antiantigemination is not a counterexample to the universal principle of OCP, but that antiantigemination is a pattern that follows from the application of the OCP, like the pattern of antigemination. Only in the first phenomenon, the OCP at the non-local CVC level of adjacency is higher ranked than the OCP at the local CC level of adjacency. Whereas in the second phenomenon, the OCP at the local CC level of adjacency is stronger than the OCP at the non-local CVC level of adjacency.
The experimental study undertaken in this dissertation finds that effects of antigemination, like vowel lengthening between identical consonants, are found in Telugu, even though the opposite pattern of antiantigemination is found in elision at boundaries. This is consistent with the above proposal. The formalism of the OCP that is found to have the widest coverage and provides the best account for all the experimental data from this dissertation is a gestural OCP formulation of the Generalized OCP framework.