The Phonology of Romanian: A Constraint-Based Approach

This book provides the first systematic descriptive analysis of the phonological system of Romanian, one of the less studied Romance languages, from the perspective of recent phonological theory. The author offers an account of some of the major phonological processes of modern standard Romanian, set in the framework of Optimality Theory and Correspondence Theory. The book begins with an overview of Romanian phonology - segment inventory, phonotactics, inflectional and derivational morphology. The main part of the study focuses on processes involving vocalic segments: glide-vowel and diphthong-vowel alternations, vowel harmony, palatalization. The major issues addressed include feature theory, syllable structure, metrical structure and stress, the interaction between phonology and morphology. Acoustic phonetic data is used as supporting evidence for the phonological patterning of diphthongs and glide-vowel sequences. Interesting complexities of the system are pointed out and discussed, as they pose certain challenges to the theoretical model. The book contains an abundance of systematically organized data, which makes it a solid reference for students and scholars of general and Romance phonology, and a strong basis for further study.