LINGUIST List 10.196

Mon Feb 8 1999

Books: Phonology

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  1. Rint Sybesma, G. Rowicka, On Ghost Vowels

Message 1: G. Rowicka, On Ghost Vowels

Date: Fri, 05 Feb 1999 14:00:08 +0100
From: Rint Sybesma <>
Subject: G. Rowicka, On Ghost Vowels

N e w f r o m H o l l a n d A c a d e m i c G r a p h i c s 

Grazyna Rowicka
On Ghost Vowels. A Strict CV Approach

This dissertation proposes an original analysis of ghost vowels, i.e.
vowels which alternate with zero. It is couched within the Strict CV
framework of Government Phonology, supplemented by some insights
from Optimality Theory. Ghost vowels are represented lexically as
empty nuclei. Which ghost vowels materialise phonetically is
determined by Proper Government (PG) relations in which they are
involved. These relations hold between audible and inaudible nuclei.
They are similar to metrical relations between stressed and unstressed
vowels (i.e. stress feet) and subject to analogous well-formedness
constraints. Cross-linguistic variation in the appearance of ghost vowels
is due to language-specific rankings of the constraints. This approach is
applied to the analysis of Turkish, Yawelmani, Cairene Arabic and
Mohawk in Part I of the dissertation.
 In Part II it is shown that the system of PG relations can also be
sensitive to lexical unaccentability specifications on some morphemes,
analogously to stress in lexical accent systems. This is the case in
Polish, where the appearance of ghost vowels is avoided in unaccentable
 This study draws and analyzes data from American Indian
languages, Slavic languages, Turkish and Arabic.

Part I. General 1. The framework 2. On trochaic Proper Government 
3. Ghost vowels in Mohawk: audibility versus visibility 4. Conclusions
and discussion Part II. Polish 5. Yers and consonantal clusters 6. Yer
surfacing patterns under suffixation 7. Unaccentable roots 8. Ghost
vowels in prefixes 9. Conclusions Appendices: Consonantal clusters in
Mohawk; Word-initial consonantal clusters in Polish; Word-internal
consonantal clusters in Polish; Word-final consonantal clusters in Polish

HIL Leiden University Dissertation. [LOT International Series, 16.]
January 1999. ISBN 90-5569-060-0. Paperback. xii+366pp. Price: NLG
77.40 (excl. P&P, VAT). Discounts are available for individuals ordering
directly from HAG. <>

Holland Academic Graphics
PO Box 53292
2505 AG The Hague
The Netherlands

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