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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 20 (44.b)

John Anderson 20 (44.b) represents an intermediate stage after the de-coordination of the sonorant and stop components results in the differentiation of an adjunct distinct from the complement, but sharing the stop property, the closure, as indicated there by the association of {C} with two nodes in the tree. {u} is the secondary category, gravity, associated with the closure. (44.c) differs in showing the application of (27), cluster headship, establishing a dependency relation between the nasal and the non-nasal, and thus coordination in timing. I offer this as a preferable representation of nasal plus plosive clusters to that in (26/28) – as, in the spirit of the Firthian enterprise, more accurately identifying the locale of contrast. 13 We also find attested the reverse development. This is exemplified by the Scots (and other dialect) pronunciations of handle, candle etc., without a medial plosive. I suggest that the first stage in such developments is the loss of the dependency relation (equivalent to that in (44.c)) between the nasal and obstruent which guarantees coordination. Peng (1985) also reconstructs an analogous but slightly different development for the early history of Japanese. He suggests the etymologies in (45): (45) a. ntama ⇒ tama ‘ball’ b. *ndori ⇒ tori ‘bird’ c. *-mbu ⇒ -bu ‘sheet’ d. *tambi ⇒ tabi ‘every time’ e. *tombi ⇒ tobi ‘jumping, flying’ f. *toNgaru ⇒ togaru ‘to taper’ Here the nasal rather than the plosive is lost. The plosive emerges as voiceless initially and voiced between voiced sounds. However, some dialects apparently show nasality of a vowel preceding obstruents (Peng cites Ogura 1932: 27). This would make a plausible intermediate stage in the development in medial position in (45), and one that we might associate, once more, with loss of the dependency relation guaranteeing relative timing of the nasal and obstruent, as in (44.b). If the nasal and obstruent are independently timed with respect to the vowel, then the nasal component can be incorporated into the vowel, maintaining the dependency relation, as in (46.a), or, more compactly, using the ‘;’ notation for dependency/relative prominence throughout, (46.b): (46) a. {V | V;C} | {V {C\{V;(V;C)}} | : V;C} : : : : : k + ã + d + o ‘angle’

21 Structural analogy in language, and its limits b. {V;(V;C)} | {V;(V;C)} {C\{V;(V;C)}} : : : : k + ã + d + o ‘angle’ A nasal vowel is a vowel, {V}, with a secondary resonator, the latter represented V;C. The internal structure of the vowel representation preserves the dependency relation between the vowel and the nasal components. This kind of thing is part of the evidence for suggesting that the dependency relation is in common between syntagmatic structure and intrasegmental structure (Anderson & Ewen 1987: §3.6.2). Of course, in the absence of a contrast among syllabics of the character of nasal vowel vs. lateral vs. rhotic, this representation can be simplified contrastively as simply {V,{V;C}}, again revealing the systemdependency of contrastive representations. Indeed, it may be that the representation remains over-specified; but I shall not pursue this here. All the preceding examples relate to the complex character of nasal stops and the absence of a dependency relation between the major components of their representation. But there are also phenomena associated with voiced fricatives that can be interpreted as reflecting their similar complexity. Suggestive at least is the alternation in the pronunciation of the second cluster in Greek µπριζόλες ‘(pork) chops’: [brizoles ≈ bridzoles ≈ britsoles]. The linearly realised complexity of the affricates alternates with the double-sound-source complexity of the corresponding voiced fricative. We can perhaps associate loss of dependency and thus of guarantee of relative timing, with yet another variety of phenomenon, illustrated by the operation of Dorsey’s Law in Winnebago. Dorsey’s Law consists basically in the observation that a number of CVCV sequences in some Siouan languages correspond to CCV sequences in other, closely related ones. Much recent discussion has focused on Winnebago (vs. particularly Chiwere) in this respect (e.g. Miner 1979, Hale & White Eagle 1980, Halle & Vergnaud 1987: 31-4, Steriade 1990, Hind 1997: §5.2); and it is on the former language that I shall concentrate here, where it has been claimed that Dorsey’s Law has synchronic status. I shall argue however, that this status is rather different from that proposed by Hale & White Eagle (1980) and Halle & Vergnaud (1989). Miner (1979: 27) cites such cognate pairs as those in (47): (47) Winnebago Chiwere a. hoikéwe ugwé b. pàrás bláθge, bláhge and correspondences elicited from Robinson (1972) such as are shown in (48): (48) a. -kere- -gle- b. -kiri- -gli- c. -sųnų- -θlų- d. -pąną- -blą- And he comments: ‘Dorsey’s Law clearly represents a “vowel copy” process which broke up obstruent-sonorant clusters in Winnebago’ (1979: 27).

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