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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 14 mary

John Anderson 14 mary categorisation, in accordance with the first part of (19.a); in the case of ‘{s}’, the full specification is redundant, given its co-occupation of an onset with another segment differentiated by place of articulation, so that it is represented as an empty segment lexically, as in (29.b/c). 6 The {|C|} and {V;C} segments are sequenced in accordance with relative sonority. The sequencing of /s/ follows from the fact that the very specific adjunction of (29.a) will apply after (16) and (27), which respectively adjoin /l, r/ and /p, t, k/ to the vowel and adjoin /l, r/ to /p, t, k/. The adjunction which applies to only a subset of potential heads, as in (29.a), is attached last. To preserve projectivity, /s/ must be sequenced in front of the plosives. This allows for the relevant parts of the representation in (30): (30) {V} | {C\{V}} {V} | | {\{|C|}} {C\{V}} {V} : | | : {C\{V}} {C\{V}\{C}} {V} : : : | : : : {V} {cor,obs\{V}} : : : | : : : : {V/{C}} {C\{V}} : : : : : | : : : : : {C\{C}} {C\{V}} : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : s + k + r + i + m + p + s The initial category realised as /s/ identifies a following plosive as a minimal plosive, one that neutralises the distinction between /p/ and /b/, /t/ and /d/, /k/ and /g/. I shall refer to this kind of adjunct as a specifier, here the minimal-plosive specifier. This seems to be another fundamental formal possibility – though the recurrence of /s/-type segments in this kind of sonority violation may reflect a substantive characteristic. The label ‘specifier’, as with ‘complement’ and ‘adjunct’ is chosen here advisedly, as discussed in §2. These categorisations render many linearity stipulations redundant. 7 This subsection has established as fundamental to the phonology, in determining sequencing, such formal distinctions as are embodied in the terms complement, adjunct and specifier. We must add these formal notions to the fundamental interface properties already discussed in §1.1, linearity and sonority. 1.3 Transitivity, sonority and weight Let turn now to the character of the syllabic centre and to linearisation therein. This introduces another property whose contrastive status must be examined. I have distinguished between transitive and intransitive syllable centres, corresponding to the traditional distinction between ‘checked’ and ‘free’ vowels. Intransitive, ‘free’ centres in English typically have more weight than the corresponding transitive; they are in particular longer than a transitive of the same ‘height’ or sonority in the same environment. In the case of vowels of the same weight, sonority correlates with vowel height as indicated in (31):

15 Structural analogy in language, and its limits (31) vowel sonority LOW < MID < HIGH But, in the same environments, /i/ in English is longer than /I/, despite being higher. We have here another interface property, associated in English with transitivity. Some of the intransitives are also clearly complex: they constitute diphthongs. I represent the weight by a doubling of the V element, and the complexity by the presence of two secondary (articulatory) categories, as in (32): (32) a. /i:/ = {V,V{i}} b. /aI/ = {V,V{a,i}} The elements within the inner brackets in (32) again represent secondary categories, in this case associated with placement on the vowel dimensions. Sequence of the two elements of the diphthong need not be stipulated lexically; it follows from relative sonority, with the more sonorous element coming first, as in (33.a): (33) a. {V,V{a + i}} b. {V,V} {a i} Only exceptions to this need be marked lexically. It is doubtful that one needs to attribute more structure, such as dependency relations, to monophthongal centres and to some diphthongs: see Lass (1987). But there are motivations for suggesting that in prototypical diphthongs the more sonorous vowel governs (Anderson & Ewen 1987: §3.6.2), as in (33.b); though it would again be a rather ‘weak’ head, in simply reflecting relative sonority, except in so far as we can say that the more sonorous the vowel the more prototypical. In the most familiar varieties of English, light vowels map onto transitive, or ‘checked’, and heavy vowels map onto intransitive, or ‘free’, as in (34.a-b), so that we can formulate a redundancy (34.c), which makes all but transitive vowels heavy: (34) transitivity and weight in English a. {|V|} ⇔ {V/{C}} b. {V,V} ⇔ {V} c. {|V|} ⇒ { ,V}, except in environment /{C} The verticals in (34.a/c) indicate (as elsewhere) that nothing other than one V is present. However, this correlation is not universal in English, and the difference in the systems involved suggests that transitivity is primary, i.e. lexical, contrastive, and weight is derived. In Scottish English and Scots the weight of an intransitive vowel depends in a rather drastic way on environment: weight is assigned only if the vowel appears finally or before a tautosyllabic /r/ or before a tautosyllabic voiced fricative; elsewhere intransitive, ‘free’ vowels have the kind of weight associated with transitive, ‘checked’ vowels: 8

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