Institute of English StudiesUniversity of Warsaw

Anglica. An International Journal of English Studies 28/2, Mosionek, Zembrzuski

Anglica. An International Journal of English Studies 28/2

Piotr Mosionek
Dariusz Zembrzuski
Hiatus Resolution Mechanisms in Old English
Anglica. An International Journal of English Studies 28/2: 5-23


Old English has several strategies of hiatus resolution, which have received a lot of at- tention in different theoretical approaches. This article discusses these strategies from a constraint-based approach within Optimality Theory. The analysis relies mainly on the solutions proposed by Opalińska (2002; 2004; 2006), and reveals the hierarchy of preference between 4 strategies of hiatus resolution: contraction, diphthongisation, gliding, and glide insertion. It is shown that all mechanisms are a result of the interaction of differ- ent constraints. The article reveals that diphthongisation is the most optimal mechanism, whereas contraction occupies the last position due to the violation of weight preservation principle. The goal of this article is to advance Opalińska’s solution by demonstrating that the preference for a given hiatus resolution strategy results from the fact which particular subset of constraints is needed to activate this strategy.

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