Sensitivity to complex onsets in Iron Ossetian


  • Amber Lubera University of Arizona



onset-sensitive stress, Iranian linguistics, phonology, Optimality Theory


This paper describes and analyzes the onset-sensitive stress system of Iron Ossetian (Eastern Iranian; Russia, Georgia; henceforth Iron). Iron instantiates a rare stress pattern that has been controversially identified in previous literature. Attested onset sensitive systems are commonly sensitive to onset presence or quality (Hyde 2007; Gordon 2005; Topintzi 2010). However, stress in Iron is categorically sensitive to onset complexity, but not onset presence. Syllables with simplex onsets or null onsets are light. Those with complex onsets are heavy. Such a pattern has only been claimed for a few languages, often controversially (Topintzi 2010, 2022). This pattern provides a challenge for current OT frameworks designed to analyze onset sensitive stress. This paper first establishes evidence for the weight of the aforementioned syllable types and then provides an OT analysis for this onset-sensitive pattern.

Words with labialized C onsets




How to Cite

Lubera, Amber. 2024. “Sensitivity to Complex Onsets in Iron Ossetian”. Phonological Data and Analysis 6 (2):1–40.