LINGUIST List 14.1464

Wed May 21 2003

Diss: Phonology: Aion: Selected Topics in Nootka...

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  1. nora.aion, Selected Topics in Nootka and T�batulabal Phonology

Message 1: Selected Topics in Nootka and T�batulabal Phonology

Date: Tue, 20 May 2003 20:00:03 +0000
From: nora.aion <>
Subject: Selected Topics in Nootka and T�batulabal Phonology

Institution: City University of New York
Program: Linguistics Program
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2003

Author: Nora Aion 

Dissertation Title: Selected Topics in Nootka and T�batulabal Phonology

Linguistic Field: Phonology 

Subject Language: T�batulabal (code: TUB); Nootka (code: NOO )

Dissertation Director 1: Charles E. Cairns
Dissertation Director 2: Robert Vago
Dissertation Director 3: Dianne Bradley

Dissertation Abstract: 

This dissertation undertakes a phonological analysis of two
Native-American languages: T�batulabal, and Tseshaht, a dialect
of Nootka. Phenomena in both languages make them ideal for evaluating
competing phonological theories: extreme opacity in
T�batulabal, and stress exceptions in Tseshaht.

In Tseshaht, the word-initial foot has a unique standing. Each word
has just one foot, the leftmost two syllables in the word. Several
phonological processes, such as Stress-Assignment and Vowel
Coalescence occur only within the foot. Furthermore, Tseshaht has
what appears to be a three-way distinction in vowel length: short,
long, and 'variable'. A variable-length vowel is long in either of
the first two syllables of the word and is short in the third or later
syllable of the word. Stress in Tseshaht falls on the first syllable,
unless it is light and the second syllable is heavy, in which case the
second syllable receives the stress. A heavy syllable in Tseshaht
contains either a long vowel or a short vowel followed by a nasal.
There are a number of exceptions to this stress rule in which stress
is outside of the 'foot'. No previous analyses have satisfactorily
accounted for these exceptions.

In T�batulabal, every odd-numbered vowel, starting from the left, is
subject to a lengthening rule. Productive vowel deletion rules in the
phonology render both reduplication and alternate lengthening opaque.
The vowel-lengthening rule is rendered opaque by virtue of the
deletion of the middle syllable, which makes vowels lengthened by
alternate lengthening adjacent. Previous theories use stipulations
and arbitrary rules to handle such cases. T�batulabal stress
occurs on odd-numbered vowels, starting from the right; underlying
long vowels and those lengthened by alternate lengthening are also
stressed. These facts suggest a powerful argument against the OT
notion of one-level, parallel-processing. A derivational approach is
required because the result of alternate lengthening is the input to
stress. Furthermore, OT is unable to account for the cases of extreme
opacity mentioned above.

The three-dimensional metrical model of stress, adopted here, along
with a serial rule-ordering framework helps further us in our goal of
explanatory adequacy for these phenomena.
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