In Finnish, adjacent vowels (/VV/) may join to become one syllable, i.e., a diphthong, or split to become two separate syllables. The choice depends on stress, weight, and vowel quality. In some environments, the two syllabifications appear in free variation. This variation exhibits quantitative preferences, which can be verified from metrical verse. These diverse patterns can be derived under Partial Order Optimality Theory, where candidate evaluation proceeds in parallel, as in classical Optimality Theory, but are problematic for Harmonic Serialism, where candidate evaluation is serial.
Proceedings of the 34th West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics
edited by Aaron Kaplan, Abby Kaplan, Miranda K. McCarvel, and Edward J. Rubin
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