Article published in:Romance Linguistics 2009: Selected papers from the 39th Linguistic Symposium on Romance Languages (LSRL), Tucson, Arizona, March 2009
Edited by Sonia Colina, Antxon Olarrea and Ana Maria Carvalho
[Current Issues in Linguistic Theory 315] 2010
► pp. 129–152
Word-minimality and sound change in Hispano-Romance
This paper proposes that word minimality, correlated with a bimoraic foot, provides a unitary account of three separate historical developments in the Hispano-Romance languages, to date considered unrelated: the preservation of a word-final nasal, the change /ee/ > /ej/, and yod augmentation in four present 1st person verb forms: soy, doy, voy and estoy. It is suggested that two otherwise regular sound changes, -m deletion and identical vowel simplification (/ee/ >/e/), failed to occur in a small number of lexical items in order to avoid their impeding reduction to a subminimal size, and that yod accretion in the Old Spanish monosyllabic forms do, so, vo, and estó was also driven by compliance with a minimal word requirement. In support of this analysis is the empirical evidence from the historical evolution of Hispano-Romance, which points to a weight-sensitive metrical system in which the bimoraic foot can be identified as the minimal prosodic word.
Published online: 25 November 2010
Cited by 1 other publications
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