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Linguistic Inquiry

Spring 2017, Vol. 48, No. 2, Pages 299-340
(doi: 10.1162/LING_a_00244)
© 2017 by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Attenuated Spreading in Sanskrit Retroflex Harmony
Article PDF (1.15 MB)

Drawing on a two-million-word corpus of Sanskrit, the article documents and analyzes two previously unrecognized generalizations concerning the morphoprosodic conditioning of retroflex spreading (nati). Both reveal harmony to be attenuated across the left boundaries of roots (i.e., between a prefix and a root or between members of a compound), in the sense that while harmony applies across these boundaries, when it does so, it accesses a proper subset of the targets otherwise accessible. This attenuation is analyzed here through the “ganging up” of phonotactics and output-output correspondence in serial Harmonic Grammar. The article also simplifies the core analysis of the spreading rule, primarily through recognizing FLAPOUT, an articulatorily grounded constraint.