a1 Simon Fraser University
a2 University of Toronto
This article re-examines ‘conflicting directionality’ in Japanese mimetic words, a distributional pattern in which palatalisation is preferentially realised on the rightmost of two coronal consonants, but on the leftmost consonant in a word without coronals. Analysis of the original dictionary evidence given in support of this generalisation and an exhaustive search of the Japanese mimetic stratum reveal both several counterexamples to conflicting directionality and the fact that the datasets are far too small to support linguistic generalisation. The theoretical assumptions employed to account for Japanese mimetic palatalisation are thus re-examined, with a focus on clarifying the predictions for future valid examples of conflicting directionality.
* We would like to thank Brett Baker, Gunnar Hansson, Graham Horwood, Ellen Kaisse, Shigeto Kawahara and three anonymous Phonology reviewers, as well as the audiences of a graduate seminar at the University of British Columbia, a University of Alberta colloquium, the 2008 Phonofest held at Simon Fraser University and the 2008 Annual Meeting of the Linguistic Society of America for valuable comments and advice. Thanks also to Manami Hirayama, Yumiko Gondaira, Miwako Nogimori, Kenji Oda, Kanako Yonenami and particularly Maho Kobayashi for assistance with data collection. This work was supported in part by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC 410-2005-1175 and SSHRC 410-2006-1006). Any errors that remain are the responsibility of the authors alone.