Coda/Onset Asymmetries in Dhivehi


  • Amalia E Gnanadesikan


The asymmetry between codas and onsets in neutralizations and assimilations is a challenge for classic OT , which operates only on output constraints and does not distinguish between VC1C1V and VC2C2V as the output of /VC1C2V/. Serial forms of OT capture the asymmetry by making coda neutralization a prerequisite for assimilation. Dhivehi offers evidence that neutralization does in fact precede assimilation, as neutralization of coronal /t/ leaves a coronal glide ‘trace’ that persists after assimilation of a coda to a following onset. However, onsets assimilate to preceding codas in certain morphological environments when the coda is retroflex and the onset is dental. This kind of assimilation cannot be captured by serially ordered neutralization and assimilation, and the analysis requires the use of either morphologically targeted constraints or the reranking of constraints between morphological levels.