Abstract: A comparison of speakers’ treatment of two categorically unattested phonotactic structures in Cochabamba Quechua reveals a stronger grammatical prohibition on roots with pairs of ejectives, *(k’ap’u), than on roots with a plain stop followed by an ejective, *(kap’u). While the distribution of ejectives can be stated as a single restriction on ejectives preceded by stops (ejective or plain), *(−cont, −son)(cg), speakers show evidence of having learned an additional constraint that penalizes cooccurring ejectives more harshly, *(cg)(cg). An inductive learning bias in favor of constraints with the algebraic structure of *(cg)(cg) is hypothesized (Marcus 2001, Berent et al. 2002, Berent et al. 2012), allowing such constraints to be preferred by learners over constraints like *(−cont, −son)(+cg), which penalize sequences of unrelated feature matrices.
Language – Linguistic Society of America
Published: Sep 9, 2016
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