5 DELETION 55
CHAPTER 5 DELETION 5.0 Deletion As mentioned above, Piacentino shows deletion in certain clusters (cf. sö, suar, and sura r). Deletion, much like metathesis, appears to be quite random within the northern Italian dialects: 17a. Lat. PATREM >It. padre 17b. Lat. MATREM > It. madre Pm. pare Pm. mare Pc. pär Pc. mär Gn. poæ Gn. moæ *Ml. pàder *Ml. màder *Bo. pèder *Bo. mèder 18a. Lat. LIBRUM > It. libro 18b. Lat. LIBRAM > It. libbra Pm. lìber Pm. livra Pc. libar Pc. lira There is no phonological/phonetic reason in and of itself which can account for why some words change and others don’t in such phonetically similar environments as 6a and 6b. Also, the Piacentino examples in 17a and 17b are cited alongside padar and madar which, by strict phonological rules cannot be explained. Why do we see epenthesis in one outcome and deletion in another? Much like the cases of metathesis, there is a pattern to be detected, though not one that is readily explainable through existing theories. Instead, we need to turn to frequency effects as the impetus behind the changes (Ch. 5). Wilson (2001) explains deletion via Optimality Theory, which puts his approach in line with that of Webb & Bradley (2009). However, Wilson, through a ranking of the relatively broad constraints known as MAX (no deletion), DEP (no insertion/epenthesis), and NoWeakCons (a consonant not released by a vowel is weak or less 58 harmonic), accounts for deletion through a much simpler...
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