Another perspective on Bennett’s ‘Agreement, dependencies, and Surface Correspondence in Obolo and beyond’

Bruce Connell


Bennett (2014) presents an analysis of phonotactic restrictions on nasal consonants in Obolo [ann] within the confines of Optimality Theory (OT) and Surface Correspondence (SC). My intention here is not to challenge Bennett’s OT/SC view of nasal consonants as being somehow wrong, though I think such accounts are not very satisfactory in understanding why a language is the way it is. Different theories may describe different aspects of the synchronic behaviour of a language reasonably well, though none perhaps entirely adequately. Rather, given that languages are shaped by a variety of influences, including their history, I look at the comparative and diachronic side of the Obolo data to provide what is both a complementary and alternative view to why the restrictions on nasal Cs in Obolo are what they are.

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ISSN 2224-3380 (online); 1726-541X (print)

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