Diverse repairs for multiple labial consonants

Kie Zuraw*, Yu-An Lu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations


The relationship between constraints on surface forms and operations that alter representations is of central interest in phonological theory. This squib presents a case of diverse "repairs" in response to a marked structure-labial labial sequences-created by um-infixation in stems beginning with (or, in some cases, merely containing) labial consonants in Austronesian languages. We review several strategies, which for the most part do not cluster according to subfamilies: tolerance, gaps, loss of stem consonant, loss of infix nasality, stem dissimilation, infix dissimilation, prefixation, and non-realization of infix. The evidence indicates that avoidance of these sequences applies only within the root-and-infix domain, and only in derived environments. This diversity of repairs seems unexpected if changes should be perceptually minimal; we suggest possible explanations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)197-224
Number of pages28
JournalNatural Language and Linguistic Theory
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2009


  • Austronesian
  • Dissimilation
  • Heterogeneity of process
  • Infixation
  • Obligatory Contour Principle
  • Phonological typology
  • Too-many-solutions problem

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