This article investigates nasal assimilation in Classical Nahuatl. The distribution of nasal consonants is shown to be the result of coda neutralization. It is argued that generalizations made for root and word level are disproportionate and cannot be explained through the means of rule-based phonology. It is shown that the process responsible for nasal distribution can only be accounted for by introducing derivational levels in Optimality Theory.
Classical Nahuatl, derivational optimality theory (DOT), coda neutralization, nasal assimilation
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