Spanish has an alternation between two allomorphs, -ez and -eza, used to derive abstract nouns. The allomorphy is phonologically conditioned, -ez being used with longer bases (cf. madurez 'maturity' vs. dureza 'hardness'). The authors argue, within the framework of Optimality Theory, that the alternation is governed by an output condition selecting the longer allomorph only to meet a minimum length requirement. The alternation has some remarkable exceptions, however, suggesting that the selection of allomoprh is opaque (cf. sutileza 'subtlety', instead of *gentilez). The problems this poses to the standard view of Optimality Theory are discussed, and a solution using the Enriched Input model is proposed.
Selected Proceedings of the 8th Hispanic Linguistics Symposium
edited by Timothy L. Face and Carol A. Klee
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