Views
4 years ago

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

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

0 Preface Much of the

0 Preface Much of the history of phonological studies is characterised by failures to follow through the consequences of the assumptions made in these studies.* The fossilisation that we can associate with ‘structuralist phonemics’ is one instance of this. Recognition of the notion of contrast at this point in the development of phonological ideas did not lead to any thorough investigation of contrastivity by the major proponents of ‘phoneme theory’ - outside the Praguian tradition, at least. The pursuit of contrastivity was side-tracked by, for instance, the application of principles which are not phonologically motivated but which reflect extra-phonological concerns. Thus the neutralisations evidenced in the onset of spree, compared with, say, see and pea, are typically obscured by phonemic representations that are dictated by symbol economy, typified by Bloch (1941). As acknowledged in the subtitle to Pike’s Phonemics (1947) – A technique for reducing languages to writing – such concerns as symbol economy reflect non-phonological aims; compare Firth (1948: 134) on theories built on the ‘phonetic hypostatization of roman letters’. And trying to fulfil these aims restricts the identification of where contrastivity lies and does not lie. One of the virtues of the ‘Firthian’ tradition has been to highlight this failure to appropriately locate contrastivity by ‘phonemic’ representations which were determined by principles distorted by the prism of alphabetic orthography. In this respect ‘phonemics’ was ‘faint-hearted’: it failed to fully implement the principle of contrastivity. The phoneme is not a relevant concept in any phonology that seeks to fully express what is contrastive and what not. Interestingly, Schane’s (1971) reconsideration of the ‘phoneme’ was a defence of ‘surface contrasts’, not of the ‘structuralist phoneme’. 1 Such has been apparent for some time, I think. But there are yet other aspects of phonological structure that are non-contrastive, but which most frameworks of phonological representation fail to recognise as such. As Anderson (1987, 1994) argued, much of linearity is not contrastive but predictable from other properties, and this is not represented as such in most accounts of phonology – even, ironically, in so-called ‘non-linear’ approaches, which are more appropriately to be referred to as ‘multi-linear’. Typically, the latter provide parallel linearisations connected by principles of association between elements in the sequences. Of course, some sequencings are irreducible, contrastive, such as syllable-sequence. But in many other cases linearisation is derived from other properties that have a contrastive role. In §1 I look at the status of some of these other aspects of representation. Partly, this in order to establish the contrastive status of various properties; but also I want to use their role in contrastivity to establish at least a partial set of properties that are in this respect fundamental to phonology, particularly where these properties are not what I shall call interface properties, i.e. properties, like sequencing, that correlate directly with phonetic exponence, and derive their motivation (also) from this. Overall §1 seeks to establish some of the fundamental properties of phonology and their role, if any, in contrast. This discussion leads on to §2, which considers to what extent these properties, interface and non-interface, or formal, are replicated in the syntax, and tries to identify structural discrepancies between phonology and syntax. My interest here is to evaluate the extent to which the picture we find is consonant with a certain hypothesis concerning possible differences between the two domains, or planes, in the sense of Anderson (1992a): this hypothesis is termed there the structural analogy assumption, whereby one expects structural parallelism between the two planes of phonology and syntax, where this is not frustrated by the demands of their respective interfaces. More of that in §2, which tries to establish some analogies of structure between the phonology and the syntax. §3 then con-

Contrast in phonology, structural analogy, and the interfaces
Structural analogy and universal grammar
Structural Realism: Continuity and Its Limits - Ioannis Votsis
The Structure and Content of the Body of an OLIF v.2 File
Correlation Between Structure of Bcl-2 and Its Inhibitory Function of ...
Correlation Between Structure of Bcl-2 and Its Inhibitory Function of ...