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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 88

John Anderson 88 However, the elements of the affricate are, I assume, susceptible to cluster headship (27), also repeated here, which makes the fricative dependent on the stop: (27) cluster headship {Ci} ⇒ { \{Cj}}, iff {Cj} < {Ci} The elements of the affricate thus do not cluster with other onset consonants; and the sequencing relative to each other is not part of the system that forms intrasyllabic syllable linearisation. It is invariant, and may be anti-sonority, as in (iv), [-Vks], and more commonly in other languages. 8 I do not want here to get into extensive discussion of the environment for what’s come to be known as ‘Aitken’s Law’ (Lass 1974, Taylor 1974), which has usually been applied to the historical process(es), or the ‘Scottish vowel length rule’ (Aitken 1981), partly because this is not directly relevant and partly because there is variation among speakers in this regard: the formulation given below in the text reflects the most restrictive view of the environment. But I should acknowledge that for some speakers the distinction between the two variants of the [ai] diphthong illustrated in (35), at least, seems to be marginally contrastive (Noske et al. 1982, Wells 1982: §5.2.4). The ‘finally’ in the formulation given in the text remains rather vague, but it includes syllable-finally (the first vowel in bias is heavy) and formative-finally (so that sighed, unlike side, has a heavy vowel). On the environment see further Ewen (1977) and Anderson (1988a, 1993, 1994). And I return briefly to the topic below. I also do not enter here into the controversies surrounding the prevalence of the ‘Scottish vowel-length rule’ (both among Scottish speakers and among potential victim vowels) or its Scottishness which were initiated in particular by Lodge (1984: ch.4) and Agutter (1988a,b). But see further e.g. McMahon (1989, 1991). See also Anderson (1988a) for a discussion of one of the apparent anomalies, the failure of /O:/ to show a light variant, and Carr (1992) and Anderson (1994: §5) for a discussion of the status of other such vowels. 9 The formulations in (34) involve a re-interpretation of the distinction drawn by Anderson (1993, 1994) between ‘inherent length’ or ‘tenseness’ and ‘prosodic length’ as one involving (in)transitivity vs. length/weight. This makes it even clearer that synchronically the ‘Scottish vowel-length rule’ involves neither lengthening nor shortening (cf. Carr 1992) – unsurprisingly, given that length is not contrastive. 10 We also find the transitive vowels before a consonant or obstruent-sonorant cluster plus the minor-system vowel schwa (Durand 1976): (i) a. [ε] guerre, [{] pleure, [O] rose b. [ε] mettre, [{] neutre, [O] socle This makes sense if the schwa, belonging to the same foot as the preceding vowel and dependent on that vowel, shares its the consonant following that vowel with its governor, as [(gε(r)´)], for instance (see Durand 1990: §6.1.9), so the first vowel is transitive. In French vowels other than schwa do not form a foot with a preceding syllable. (We return to ambisyllabicity in general in §§2.1&2.3.)

89 Structural analogy in language, and its limits In Standard French all vowels are transitive or intransitive, thus indifferent to transitivity, and so perhaps interpretable as simply adjunct-taking. Transitivity (‘la loi de position’), however, has a morphological role, as illustrated by pairs such as those in (ii): (ii) a. [e] céder (intransitive) vs. [ε] cède (transitive), léger (intrans) vs. légère (trans) b. [ø] peut (intrans) vs. [{] peuvent (trans), veut vs. veulent, oeufs vs. oeuf c. [o] galop (intrans) vs. [O] galope, sot vs. sotte, idiot vs. idiote (Aurnague & Durand forthcoming: §3). 11 I have assumed with Anderson (2001a) that the semi-vowels are variants of the corresponding vowels. If they were to be given a contrastive status, then second-order dependencies would have to be introduced, to allow discrimination among semi-vowels, laterals and rhotics. The metric carries over to such more complex categorisations, involving second-order dependencies, as exemplified by the first two of those in (i), which refine upon the class of liquids: (i) a. semi-vowels {V;(V;C}} = 3V:1(3V:1C) = 12V:4(3V:1C) = 15V:1C b. rhotics {(V;C);V} = 3(3V:1C):1V = (9V:3C):1V = 10V:3C c. laterals {|V;C|} = 3V:1C Semi-vowels, rhotics and laterals are ranked by the metric in order between vowels and fricatives. In Anderson (1994: 12 (29)) /l/ is distinguished from the other sonorant consonants by the secondary (articulatory) feature of laterality. This seems to me an aberration, given, on the one hand, the limited currency of this feature and, on the other, the basic role of the categorial specification in determining sequence in the syllable. Likewise the categorisation for nasals given here obviates appeal to nasality as such. 12 The representation for rhotics also involves elements in simple combination {(V;C),V}. But, unlike with nasals and voiced fricatives, the same feature is dominant in both parts of the combination. Compare: (i) a. rhotics {(V;C),V} b. nasals {(V;C),C} c. v’d frics {(V.C),V} And rhotics thus involve a different kind of complexity, reflected perhaps in analyses of ‘rhotic’ varieties of English (such as that in Giegerich (1999: ch.7) whereby [r] and a vowel alternate as realisations of the same contrastive unit. If we exchange the V and C tokens in (i.c) we get a suitable representation for voiceless affricates, that in (ii.a), with that in (b) for their voiced congeners: (ii) a. v’less affricates {(V.C),C} b. v’d affricates {(V.C),(C;V)} They combine stop and fricative specifications, which are necessarily sequenced segmentinternally, with the simpler component, and presumably segment-internal head, first.

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