Working paper Open Access
In this paper compensatory lengthening is accounted for by invoking the mechanism of mora
In the containment model of Optimality Theory, in which this paper is couched, any input segment is contained in the output; if this segment is phonetically unrealized, it may nonetheless exert influence on the shape of the output, as an unparsed segment.
Here we explore cases in which a moraic position is projected by an unparsed segment, and filled by a parsed segment which is not responsible for mora projection, thus leading to compensatory lengthening. The unparsed segment is "deleted" in order to avoid constraint violation; here we focus on coda constraints and their interaction with compensatory lengthening.
We present three cases of compensatory lengthening, Pali, Japanese and Piro, addressing also the issue of mora projection as related to possible mora fillers in a language, based on the Italian facts. While the conclusions of this paper are not tenable within the correspondence model of Optimality Theory (McCarthy and Prince 1995), we include it in this volume because certain aspects of our findings do not crucially depend on the framework in which this study has been framed.