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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 86 Notes *

John Anderson 86 Notes * I gratefully acknowledge that much of what follows arose from interaction with some of my co-contributors to the Lingua special issue on ‘Linguistic knowledge: perspectives from phonology and from syntax’, particularly with Phil Carr (cf. Anderson in press a, Carr in press – and other contributions to the volume). Special thanks too, as ever, to Fran Colman, for the benefits derived from many discussions of much of what is discussed here. 1 Lyons (1962) is, in my view, too generous in according to ‘phoneme theory’ one end of a typological continuum (the ‘cardinally phonemic’ end) with ‘prosodic analysis’ at the other extreme (the ‘cardinally prosodic’ end): ‘… it may be suggested that the goodness of fit of one model of analysis rather than the other should be made a criterion in the typological classification of the phonology of languages’ (1962: 132). ‘Phoneme theory’ would be appropriate only to languages with no ‘prosodic’ phenomena whatsoever (apart, perhaps from things to do with accent and tone) and offering no evidence of polysystemicity; whereas all other languages would have to be accommodated by ‘prosodic analysis’, in which tradition it was never claimed, as far as I am aware, that a language could consist entirely of ‘prosodies’ – or even that there couldn’t be a language without such. It seems to me that Lyons is proposing here an interesting typological dimension, but it has to do with the relative ‘prosodicness’ of languages (what range of features is prosodicised in each), not with a distinction between ‘phoneme theory’ and ‘prosodic analysis’. 2 For expository reasons, I do not adopt here the suggestion (see e.g. Anderson 1994) that vowels are contrastively unspecified as to primary category, or ‘major class’, but this may be undesirable anyway. See further below, particularly §2. 3 In recognising here (as in the syntax – Anderson 1997a: §2.7.4) contrastive nondependency, the interpretation of fricatives given here departs from that offered by Anderson & Ewen (1987: ch.4), which invokes mutual dependency. This is in accord with our goal of identifying the locus of contrast, as well as enhancing conceptual simplicity. We shall find similar reasons to modify the interpretation of nasal consonants and voiced fricatives suggested by Anderson & Ewen. 4 Exceptional here – as well as some of (13) – are such as strange and lounge, involving /n/ and the voiced affricate following an intransitive vowel, either /eI/ or /aU/. Affricates are often associated with exceptional distributional properties. See further note 7. 5 (27) will also apply to the clusters in winter and whimper, and thunder and lumber, where again the dependency relation is the channel for agreement. See further §1.4. Agreement between /p/ and /s/ in (26), on the other hand, is a requirement on any adjacent obstruents, whether or not directly linked by dependency. 6 The first part of (29.a) will also apply to sm-, sn- and sl- clusters, where again the /s/ may be left unspecified lexically. Before -r- the empty segment is of course filled out rather as /S/, as in shrew. The second part will apply to these too if we substitute ‘C’ for ‘|C|’ therein. This might be appropriate, at least in the case of the nasals, given the restrictions on combination with other fricatives: */fm-, Tm-, fn-, Tn-/. The lesser degree of structural integration of /s/ that is apparent in the representation in (26) might be taken as a formal characterisation of ‘extrametrical’ or ‘appendix’ (in such cases, at least). Notice that, if we assume, with e.g. Anderson (1994), that vowels are contrastively unspecified (recall note 2), then the ‘empty’ segment of (29) would have to be differentiated as {C}.

87 Structural analogy in language, and its limits 7 This may involve cases where we apparently have contrastive linearisation, as with the pair of Greek words in (i): (i) a. skílo ‘dog’ b. ksílo ‘wood’ (where mis-linearisation, as may easily be perpetrated by non-Greek speakers, may result, for instance, in such foreigners insisting that they want the windows in their new house to be made of ‘dog’ – rather than, say, aluminium). We also have such pairs as (ii): (ii) a. spáθa ‘sabre’ b. psáθa ‘straw-hat’ Initially in (i.b) and (ii.b) we have affricates, as reflected in the traditional spellings, involving a single letter, respectively ξ and ψ, while the clusters are spelled with two, σκ and σπ. (Traditionally, though, these are called ‘double letters’, along with ζ (representing [z]).) The affricate in (iii.b) is represented by a sequence of Greek letters, τσ; it is in contrast not just with the cluster of (iii.a), spelled στ, but also with the voiced affricate of (iii.c), spelled τζ: (iii) a. stíros ‘barren’ b. tsíros ‘dried mackerel’ c. dzíros ‘turnover’ Clusters do not occur word-finally in Greek, and these are avoided even in loanwords. In native words single final consonants are generally limited to those represented by ς (transliterated as s) and ν (transliterated as n), and ρ (transliterated as r). But we do find a final ξ, representing an affricate, in the archaic survival of (iv): (iv) άπαξ ‘once’ Those mentioned exhaust the set of affricates, which do not cluster with other consonants initially; while the clusters of the (a) examples in (i)-(iii) may be extended as in (v.a) and also form part of the larger set of [s]-initial clusters given in (b): (v) a. spl-, spr-, str-, skl-, skr-, skn- b. sf-, sθ-, sx-, sfr- (For exemplification see Holton et al. 1997: 10-2.) In Greek onsets, non-affricative [s] seems to be a specifier of voiceless obstruents in general rather than just plosives. On the other hand, the fricative element of affricates, as well as, like the elements of clusters, being unsequenced lexically, also, unlike members of clusters, is marked lexically as exceptions to both sonority sequencing and empty segment adjunction (29.a), repeated here: (29) a. empty segment adjunction { },{ {p/t/k}} ⇒ {s},{|C|{p/t/k}}, & {s} ⇒ { \{|C|}}, both in the environment ___ ( {|V|}

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