LINGUIST List 9.588

Mon Apr 20 1998

Disc: Merger

Editor for this issue: Martin Jacobsen <>


  1. manaster, Re: 9.553, Disc: Merger

Message 1: Re: 9.553, Disc: Merger

Date: Sat, 11 Apr 1998 14:15:59 -0400 (EDT)
From: manaster <>
Subject: Re: 9.553, Disc: Merger

The idea of reversal of merger was one of the most important ones in
the struggle by generative phonologists against earlier theories in
teh 1960's, but most of the classic examples were later repudiated
explicitly or tacitly from within the generative school. E.g., Halle
had an early modern English example in the early 60's but the same
data are analyzed without recourse to reversal of merger in SPE
(though w/o admitting the importance of this!). Kiparsky in the late
70's exploded Postal's example from either Mohawak or Oneida (I forget
which). The whole topic was studied in detail in my widely unknown
1981 dissertation, little bits of which are finally getting published
here and there. Recently, I published the (revised) bit dealing with
a rather important example from Tera cited by Newman in a Language
article in or around 1968, for example.

But, as has become usual in linguistics, once a paradigm is widely
accepted, very few people seem to want to hear that its very
foundations are in quicksand.

Alexis Manaster Ramer
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