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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 90 13 We

John Anderson 90 13 We might too interpret the spelling stemfne for stefne ‘voice’ (in a couple of Trinity College, Cambridge mss., M and 70) as an attempt to represent an intermediate stage in the assimilation manifested elsewhere as stemne (see e.g. Campbell 1959: §484), a stage at which the nasality component but not the stopness has spread to the preceding segment: (i) {V.C} {|C|} {V;C} This again would reflect the relative independence of the two components of nasal stops, which are not connected by or in contrast with a dependency relation, and so may fail to coincide. 14 Hind interprets her account as leading to the conclusion that ‘fast sequences are in fact monosyllables’ (1997: 297); and he comments: ‘the fact that fast sequences are accented more like monosyllables than like bisyllables is not surprising if Steriade’s interpretation is correct, nor is the shorter duration of fast sequences compared to ordinary CVCV sequences’ (Hind 1997: 293). I return shortly to the question of accent. 15 The accent in diphthongs is realised on the more sonorous element, whether initial or final; thus (i): (i) a. hakeweákšąną ‘he is entering’ b. hit’et’éire ‘they speak’ (Miner 1979: 29). 16 We also find, for instance, the contradictory accents (whatever else) respectively assigned in (i): (i) a. wikìripáras ‘cockroach’ (Miner) b. wakiríparàs ‘flat bug’ (Halle & Vergnaud) But the latter seems to be simply a mistake. Some other discrepancies are acknowledged by Hale & White Eagle (1980: 117, fn.3); and on the same page they concede ‘our analysis must be taken as highly tentative, since there are residual problems’. What I say here is thus ‘tentative’ to a yet higher degree. 17 Hind (1997: §5.3), basing his account largely on some observations of Borgstrøm (1941) and Oftedal (1956), suggests that at least in some dialects of Scottish Gaelic we find similar phenomena, but exhibited by non-initial clusters, as in (i): (i) a. borb ‘savage’ [bOrOb] b. arm ‘army’ [aram] c. dorcha ‘dark’ [dOrOx´] d. fearg ‘anger’ [fεrag] Often, the ‘second, epenthetic vowel’ is simply a ‘copy’ of the other, as in (i.a-c), and even when not, as in (d), such a ‘vowel’ is not restricted to the small set associated with unaccented vowels (like the last in (c)) in these dialects. Moreover, the tonal structure of such ‘epenthetic’ forms is unlike that of disyllabic items.

91 Structural analogy in language, and its limits Jones (1989: §3.4.6) presents a range of Middle English spellings such as those in (ii) suggestive of similar developments: (ii) a. þuruh, þoruZ ‘through’ (Old English þurh) b. arum, arome ‘arm’ c. nyhyt ‘night’ In the case of through and some other forms this results in ‘metathesis’. Jones (1989: §4.3.1) points to the continuation of such developments into the modern period. 18 Anderson (in press a) also cites such pre-prepositionals as right in right to the end as what is called there ‘prototypical specifiers’. It too conforms to the requirements presented in the text: it belongs to a small class characteristic of the category that it adjoins to, and it selects only a subclass as viable heads. Roughly, right seems to be limited to semantically ‘dimensional’ prepositions, either because they describe a trajectory, as in (i.a), or they and their complements introduce a space, as in (i.b): (i) a. right from the start, right to the door b. right in the middle, right on the hour, right at the door The ‘non-dimensional’ prepositions in (ii) reject right: (ii) * right at Richmond, *right at 5 (o’clock) 19 The secondary categories in the phonology can also be characterised in terms of varying preponderances of a set of features (cf. e.g. Anderson & Ewen 1987: ch.6). And Böhm (1993: §5.4, 1994) argues that the secondary features of the functor category in the syntax (which category is again discussed in §3 below) combine in such a way. 20 The distinction that I am terming ‘attributive’ versus ‘circumstantial’ has been discussed in a number of places under various guises (see e.g. Bolinger 1967, Kamp 1975 and Siegel 1980). My treatment of it here is necessarily rather brief (given the scope of the present discussion), but not inconsistent, I think, with what has emerged from the literature. 21 Anderson (in press a: §4) also suggests that a specifier may not be associated with all the primary syntactic categories. Above, we have also, in regard to the phonology of English, associated a specifier only with {|C|} (and not with, say, {|V|}. However, if we adopt a suggestion made in Anderson (1988b), partly based on some speech-error data, it may be that we should recognise for English at least a segment-internal specifier in the form of the /j/ in (i):

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