*HYDRA, Nasality and Palatalization in Polish

Sławomir Zdziebko


The paper proposes that the phonological make-up of segments is influenced by the activity of the constraint *Hydra, which penalizes the presence of more than one headed element per one phonological expression. *Hydra influences the shape of the inventories and the phonological behaviour of nasal vowels in languages such as French and Brazilian Portuguese. At the same time, the behaviour of nasal vowels in Yoruba shows that *Hydra is a violable constraint. In Polish, the high ranking of *Hydra proves necessary to account for the absence of Surface Velar Palatalization before the front nasal vowel /ɛ͂/. It also allows us to formulate a unified account of the 1st Velar and Anterior Palatalization, which have very different structural descriptions but take place before the same set of derivational affixes.

Słowa kluczowe: Element Theory, Optimality Theory, headedness, palatalization, nasalization