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Structural analogy in language and its limits [Contrast and analogy v.2]

Structural analogy in language and its limits [Contrast and analogy v.2]

John Anderson 98 b.

John Anderson 98 b. {P.N} | {\{P.N}} {P.N} | : {\{\{P.N}}} {\{P.N}} : {P:N} : : : : : : : : very much more energetic c. {P.N} | {\{P.N}} {P.N} | | {\{\{P.N}}} {\{P.N}} {P:N} : : : : : : very much stronger This means that the positive degree of gradable adjectives incorporates a comparator and a specifier that is the equivalent of much: to be energetic/strong is to have ‘much energy/strength’ – or, more analytically still: to be energetic/strong is to have ‘much intensity of energy/strength’. The comparative degree does not incorporate much, though it can take it as an independent specifier. Both the comparative degree and the positive, as well as the comparative of equality (Bob is as energetic/strong as John), are then associated with a comparator, a marker of intensity, and the positive also incorporates a specifier of the comparator, which is what very specifies. If indeed gradable adjectives are represented as in (iii), then there is no adjectival specifier as such, only specifiers of comparators or specifiers of specifiers: (iii) {P.N} | { \{P.N}} | {P:N} In that case, perhaps there are no specifiers of lexical categories. And, if that is the case, the apparent absence of a specifier of finiteness may indicate, whatever else, a further analogy. I remarked in note 23 of the absence of a specifier for vowels; at most there is perhaps a segment-internal one. It is, then, perhaps significant that it is P and V, analogical features in terms of their relational centrality, that lack specification when they uniquely define a category 35 This brief account of the status of vowels in Kabardian, based on Kuipers (1960) and Anderson (1991), ignores various related factors discussed in some detail in these places, some of which are controversial, as I shall indicate in what follows. Other omissions are less important. I have omitted consideration of the ‘half-rounded’ vowel variants found after unlabialised and before labialised consonants. Also, as well as there being a set of ‘plain’ uvulars, such as the voiceless plosive [q] (or the corresponding ejective in (142.b)), Kabardian also has a set of labialised congeners, such as [q˚], whose role in the pattern of

99 Structural analogy in language, and its limits vowel variation is unclear to me. More importantly, I have ignored the third vowel (to those in (141)) that is sometimes argued to be contrastive in Kabardian. This vowel, along with other long vowel manifestations, is argued by both Kuipers (1960) and Halle (1970) to be a manifestation of a vowel (in the notation used here, { } or {a}) plus laryngal sequence. Thus, in the case of these other long vowels we find the alternations in (i): (i) [i:] ∼ [´j], [e:] ∼ [aj], [´w] ∼ [u:], [o:] ∼ [aw] The long vowels manifest mutual contamination by the two elements in the other variant, though in the case of [´j] and [´w] the first element has no content with which to contaminate the other. Kuipers analyses [a:] as a variant of either [ah], parallel to what we find in (i) (except that [h] is neither acute nor grave, and therefore has no content with which to contaminate the other element) or [ha] (which occurs as such a sequence only postaccentually). I have presupposed some such analysis here – though the status of this last vowel, in particular, including its ‘length’, is a matter of dispute (see, on this and related controversies, e.g. Trubetzkoy 1925, Szereményi 1967, Kuipers 1968, Catford 1977, Comrie 1981: 206-7, Wood 1991). 36 This minor manifestation of recursion in the phonology intrudes exactly where the phonology is directly responsive to the requirements of the semantic interface, in the area of intonation, where the ‘double-articulation’ of language breaks down. The significance of this clearly deserves investigation. 37 If we analyse the complementiser as a kind of functional category, as has been common of late, then we move even further from direct recursion, as evidenced by (i): (i) {P} | {N} {P;N\{ {comp}}} : : : : { {comp}} : : : : : : {P} : : : : : : : {N} : {P;N} : : : : : : : : : : : : John said that Mary had left In (i) I have analysed the complementiser as a kind of functor that takes a predicational argument. However, though a functoral analysis of subordinating conjunctions seems to me to be entirely appropriate, as is evident from what follows, sentential complementisers in English conform much more readily to the pattern of specifiers. Unlike conjunctions, that does not participate in the argument structure of the clause it initiates. Compare the when in (ii) with the complementiser in (iii): (ii) a. I don’t know when he arrived b. When he arrived is a secret c. When he arrived, Mary left

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