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LINGUIST List 21.1370

Sun Mar 21 2010

Books: Ling Theories/Phonology/Syntax: Cyran

Editor for this issue: Fatemeh Abdollahi <fatemehlinguistlist.org>

Links to the websites of all LINGUIST's supporting publishers are available at the end of this issue.
        1.    Julia Ulrich, Complexity Scales and Licensing in Phonology: Cyran

Message 1: Complexity Scales and Licensing in Phonology: Cyran
Date: 19-Mar-2010
From: Julia Ulrich <julia.ulrichdegruyter.com>
Subject: Complexity Scales and Licensing in Phonology: Cyran
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Title: Complexity Scales and Licensing in Phonology
Series Title: Studies in Generative Grammar [SGG] 105
Published: 2010
Publisher: De Gruyter Mouton

Book URL: http://www.degruyter.de/cont/fb/sk/detailEn.cfm?id=IS-9783110221497-1

Author: Eugeniusz Cyran
Electronic: ISBN: 9783110221503 Pages: 311 Price: Europe EURO 99.95
Hardback: ISBN: 9783110221497 Pages: 311 Price: Europe EURO 99.95

The aim of this book is to demonstrate that, in a representation-based
model, the phonological organization of speech sounds within a word is
reducible to the licensing properties of nuclei with respect to
structurally defined complexities which pose varying demands on the
licenser. It is assumed that the primitive licensing relation is that
between a nucleus and its onset (O N). There are two main types of
complexities concerning the onset position. Substantive complexity is an
important aspect of phonological organisation at the melodic level, while
the syllabic configurations in which the onset may be found are referred to
under the heading of formal complexity.

At the melodic level, complexity is defined in terms of the number of
privative primes called elements. The asymmetries in the subsegmental
representations of consonants and vowels are shown to play a pivotal role
in understanding a number of phenomena, such as typological patterns,
markedness effects, phonological processes, segmental inventories, and,
what is most important, the model allows us to see a direct connection
between phonological representations and processes. For example, the
deletion of [g] in Welsh initial mutations is strictly related to the fact
that the prime which crucially defines this object also happens to be the
target of Soft Mutation.

The complexity at the syllabic level is defined in terms of formal onset
configurations called governing relations, of which some are easier to
license than others. The formal complexity scale is not rerankable, and
corresponds directly to the markedness of syllabic types. Since each formal
configuration requires licensing from the following nucleus, syllable
typology can be directly derived from the licensing strength of nuclei. The
interaction between the higher prosodic organisation, for example, the
level of the foot, and the syllabic level is also easily expressible in
this model because higher prosody is built on nuclei. Therefore, prosody
may tamper with the status of nuclei as licensers by deeming some of them
as prosodically weaker than others, thus producing a non-rerankable scale
of nuclear licensers (a " P). The inclusion of the empty nucleus as a
possible licenser allows us to unify the scale of relatively marked
contexts in segmental phenomena, and also to account for such problems as
extrasyllabicity, complex clusters, super heavy rhymes, and other
exceptional strings. The role of nuclei as licensers in unifying various
levels of phonological representation from melody to word structure is
unquestionable. There are other areas of phonological theory which can be
expressed in this model. These include the role of nuclear strength scales
in register switches, dialectal variation, historical development, language
acquisition, and the interaction between phonology and morphology.

Linguistic Field(s): Phonology
                            Generative Linguistics
                            Linguistic Theories

Written In: English (eng )

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