Kulikov – Voicing assimilation and its relevance for the Dresher-Reiss debate on existence of contrast in phonology

The course teaches phonetic and phonological aspects of voicing assimilation. Discussion of phonological aspects of voicing assimilation includes an overview of the SPE, feature geometric, and Optimality Theoretic approaches. Discussion of phonetic aspects of voice assimilation is shaped around several case studies: lexical and postlexical voice assimilation in Russian, postlexical voice assimilation in Dutch and Catalan. Phonetic variation and gradience in assimilated obstruents will be investigated with respect to the Dresher-Reiss debate on existence of contrast in phonology.



Burton, M. W., & Robblee, K. E. (1997). A phonetic analysis of voicing assimilation in Russian. Journal of Phonetics, 25, 97-114.

Dresher, B. E. (2008). The Contrastive hierarchy in phonology. In Peter Avery, B. Elan Dresher, and Keren Rice (Eds.), Contrast in Phonology: Theory, Perception, Acquisition (pp. 11-34). De Gruyter Mouton.

Kulikov, V. (2014). Voicing contrast in consonant clusters: evidence against sonorant transparency to voice assimilation in Russian. Phonology, 30(3), 423-452

Recaesens, D. (2014). Gradient phonetic implementation of regressive voicing assimilation in Catalan heterosyllabic two- and three-consonant clusters. Phonetica 71, 128-156.

Reiss, C. (2017). Contrast is irrelevant in phonology: A simple account of Russian /v/ as /V/. In Bridget Samuels (ed.), Beyond markedness in formal phonology (pp. 23-46). Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company.

Sils, I. H. (1986). Assimilation of voice in Dutch as a function of stress, word boundaries, and sex of speaker and listener. Journal of Phonetics, 14, 311-326.