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The Even Yearbook 6 (2004)

ELTE SEAS Working Papers in Linguistics

Balogné Bérces, Benczes, Bottyán, Csides, Eitler, Gáspár, Huber, Kiss, Kristó, Marosán, Newson, Starcevic, Surányi, Szigetvári, Varga

cover illustration Front and back cover, front material (pp. i–viii, 202–205): colophon [ps/pdf], contents [ps/pdf], editorial note [ps/pdf], contributors [ps/pdf], cumulative contents [ps/pdf]


Katalin Balogné Bérces
Connected speech phenomena in Strict CV phonology
pp. 1–10
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The fact that the left edge of (phonological) words is a strong position counts as a phonological commonplace. This basically means that the beginning of the word favours fortition processes and disfavours lenition both synchronically and diachronically. Theories have usually attempted to account for this with reference to the word boundary (#) or to foot-initial position. As an alternative, most practitioners of Strict CV Phonology (started by Lowenstamm 1996), which, being a subbranch of Government Phonology, describes fortition and lenition phenomena as the result of the interaction of government and licensing relations (cf. Segeral & Scheer1999/2001), assume that each word of a major category begins with a melodically empty CV unit on the skeletal tier, marking the word boundary (after Lowenstamm 1999). One of the functions of the boundary-marker in a word starting with a single consonant followed by a vowel is to absorb the reductive force of government emanating from the first vowel of the word, thus the empty vowel in the boundary-marker will be prevented from being pronounced, and the word-initial consonant will not be negatively affected, i.e., it will not lenite.

So far, the study of this boundary-marker has concentrated on the behaviour of consonant-initial words, therefore this paper has two main aims. On the one hand, it investigates whether or not vowel-initial words also possess a boundary-marker; on the other hand, it looks into what happens to the boundary-marker post-lexically, i.e., in connected speech.

Réka Benczes
Analysing exocentric compounds in English: a case for creativity
pp. 11–18
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Since the vast majority of English compounds is endocentric (Bloomfield 1933), linguistic literature has a tendency to mention exocentric combinations only peripherally (if they are mentioned at all), and views these constructions as semantically non-transparent (see for example Dirven and Verspoor 1998, Jespersen 1954, Katamba 1993, Levi 1978, Marchand 1960, Selkirk 1982, Spencer 1991). The present paper takes a close look at these much-ignored constructions and claims that ``exocentric'' or ``non-transparent'' compounds are just as easily analysable as endocentric compounds. With the help of cognitive linguistic ÈtoolsÉ such as metaphor, metonymy and blending among others, their meaning becomes analysable and transparent. Thus there is no need for the traditional distinction between the two categories: all we are dealing with is a more imaginative word formation process. Therefore I suggest using the term ``creative compound'' for metaphorical and/or metonymical noun–noun combinations.

Gergely Bottyán
On conditional if-sentences
pp. 19–28
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The paper, instead of following the common procedure of identifying `conditionals' on the basis of intuitive semantic criteria, provides a definition of conditional if-sentences that is operational not only from a theoretical linguistic but also from a corpus linguistic point of view. Then, after a brief description of the logic-based concept of meaning, it presents the classical truth-functional account and designates some problem areas related to this account that would deserve closer scrutiny.

Csaba Csides
Farewell to strict directionality: evidence from English
pp. 29–48
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Tamás Eitler
Late Middle English syntactic variation and change: towards an integrated model of accommodation in social networks
pp. 49–59
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Adding two Late Middle English case studies, the paper advances a very first and rather condensed outline of an integrated model of accommodation in social networks. It is argued that variation and change, when represented in social networks, imply that besides weak-tied accommodation, which is towards innovative forms and which explains their diffusion, accommodation occurs in strong-tied contacts as well. In this latter case, accommodation does not lead to language change; it is, however, evident in switches to conservative variants, which explains some variational phenomena otherwise left unaccounted for.

Miklós Gáspár
Topic universality in OT inputs
pp. 60–73
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The paper attempts to harmonize the treatment of topic/comment and subject/predicate languages within Optimality Theoretical syntax by arguing that topics, like subjects, are compulsory elements of the OT input. Whether a topic is actually present in the grammatical sentence is up to the grammar to decide. An analysis is provided for topic phenomena in languages with very different topic behaviour: German, Hungarian, English and Japanese.

Dániel Huber
Towards a typology of velar processes
pp. 74–84
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This paper sets up a typology of velar phenomena. Velars show effects of palatalization by an adjacent segment. Processes where velars show effects of pure vocalization are also attested. A third group of phenomena are reductions to velars. Moreover, there is important communication between velars and labials where labio-velars turn into plain labials or the other way round. Finally, less typical are velar and palatal interactions where a palatal glide /j/ comes to alternate with or turn into a velar stop. These phenomena can be nicely accommodated in a VC framework, which provides a typology of, types of velar processes.

Zoltán Kiss
Markedness, graduality and closedness in phonotactics — a phonetically grounded approach
pp. 85–110
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This paper attempts to present a fresh view of consonantal phonotactics by employing a functionalist, non-representational approach. The central claim, which is becoming more and more prevalent in the phonological literature these days is that phonological processes can be explained if various functional arguments are made use of. The most important of these arguments is that phonological phenomena are influenced by the phonetic factors of sound perception and production. The paper wishes to argue that even such static phonological events as the distribution of sound segments can be satisfactorily explained provided that functionalist principles are considered.

After a short historical overview on the role of phonetics in phonology, the paper sums up the most important issues in a functional approach to phonology as well as the meaning of markedness as being used in the paper. The gist of the paper is the introduction of the principle of Phonotactic Closedness (Rebrus & Trón 2002, 2004), which, extending the ideas of Steriade (1997, 1999) on Licensing by Cue, states that if a given phonological contrast occurs in a given context, the same contrast will necessarily occur in contexts which are better cued perception-wise than the context in question. Phonotactic Closedness thus defines a multidimensional phonotactic space in which every existing contrast is predicted to fill it, even those that are predicted to be exceptional by other phonological theories. Phonotactic Closedness not only predicts that rare ("exceptional") forms do belong to the phonological space, but also they are predicted to occur in the right areas of the space (thus: unmarked/common forms in the origin, while marked/rare ones in the outskirts). This is necessarily a different approach from that of other (representational) models, which are either too restrictive (they are undergenerating and mark those elements as exceptions which they cannot account for but are nevertheless grammatical) or too "liberal" (they are thus overgenerating, and treat the ungrammatical/non-existing forms as accidental gaps). These models thus cannot account for phonotactic graduality. These ideas are introduced through examining the phonotactics of Hungarian and English non-initial two-member consonant clusters in monomorphemic words.

László Kristó
Linguistic reconstruction: methods vs. interpretations
pp. 111–120
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This paper investigates the central methods of linguistic reconstruction, i.e., Comparative Reconstruction (CR) and Internal Reconstruction (IR), and the theoretical models associated with them. Both will be considered in the light of their alleged theoretical background. I come to the conclusion that this distinction is irrelevant for the method itself, because Neogrammarians and Structuralists differ not so much in the method but in the interpretation of the results of reconstruction; the difference follows from the different theoretical models of phonological change. I point out, furthermore, that CR still remains the central (possibly only) really historical and exact method of reconstruction.

Lajos Marosán
What is in a function
pp. 121–134
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This paper discusses the problem of grammatical function from a metalinguistic aspect. The author examines Allerton's 1982 Dependency Grammar and the main stipulations of X-bar Theory attempting to find out whether Martinet's 1960 claim that syntactic functions are the linguistic realisation of the relationship between various aspects of human experience.

Mark Newson
Deforestation in syntax
pp. 135–148
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This paper summarises some of the underlying assumptions of Alignment Syntax, a restrictive approach to syntax which utilises only two families of constraints: alignment constraints and faithfulness constraints. The paper starts by offering a demonstration that standard arguments for the necessity of phrase structure do not hold once one assumes the possibility that syntactic organisation might be based on alignment requirements of the words contained in an expression. The theoretical mechanisms of side and edge violations and predicate based cyclical evaluation are then introduced with a brief look at wh-phenomena. Finally it is demonstrated how the system can account for basic properties of that-trace phenomena.

Attila Starcevic
Absolute phonological ungrammaticality in Croatian
pp. 149–166
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In this article I intend to discuss the issue of 'absolute phonological ungrammaticality' (APU) in Croatian, i.e., when the result of a phonological rule yields a form that is ungrammatical. APU can be static and dynamic. Static APU involves cases of phonotactic constraints (e.g., in English words cannot begin with four consonants). In the case of dynamic APU, well-formed outputs to an otherwise general phonological rule are missing: this results in a locuna or 'empty slot' in a language (this is termed overt ungrammaticality), or alternatively the empty slot may be remedied/filled in some way or other (for example, by applying a rule that is more restricted in its scope). This is known as 'covert' APU. I investigate covert APU in Croatian in view of empty vocalic slots, government, etc. vis-à-vis the genitive plural suffix -a.

Balázs Surányi
Head movement qua Root Merger
pp. 167–183
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It has been a recurrent theme in the recent minimalist literature that head movement (HM) as construed under the checking theory of movement sticks out in a typology of movements as exceptional, and hence its status in the computational system itself is questionable. I begin this paper by showing that HM in fact bleeds from even more wounds than is commonly acknowledged. Recent reactions include attempts to reanalyse HM as PF-displacement (Chomsky 2000), or as XP-movement (e.g., Mahajan 2000, 2001, Koopman and Szabolcsi 2001).

I propose here that HM does exist at the level of narrow syntax, however, instead of involving adjunction, it involves root merger, in terms of generalized transformations. I argue that (i) HM is enforced by the cyclic spellout property of syntactic computation, and (ii) in the course of HM, the complex (inflected) head reprojects its label (cf. Hornstein and Uriagereka 2002). I demonstrate how this account effectively eliminates complications around HM, bringing it on a par with phrasal movements.

Péter Szigetvári
To branch or not to branch?
pp. 184–191
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This squib aims to be a partial reply to Ploch (2003, the reader is advised to have a look at that paper first.) It is only partial because I do not feel it my duty to defend most of the theories attacked by Ploch.

The paper—Ploch's contribution to the Kaye Festschrift—discusses metatheoretical problems in phonology and claims to ``show[...] that the most important hypotheses which have been supported by phonologists and/or, more generally, linguists over the last (three, four) decades, but not only those, are not scientific ones'' (185f). I do not wish to generally argue against this rather bold statement. Instead I will attempt to show why I think Ploch misunderstands the strict CV approach, and why I still maintain that it is one of the null hypotheses about prosodic structure.

László Varga
Once more on the melodic segmentation of Hungarian utterances
pp. 192–201
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In the article the author clarifies and gathers additional justification for his analysis of three kinds of phenomena relevant to intonational segmentation in Hungarian (which he originally offered in László Varga (2002, Intonation and Stress. Evidence from Hungarian. Palgrave Macmillan: Basingstoke). These are: (a) complex utterances, (b) equivalent blocks, and (c) afterthoughts. The article shows that the author's analyses are not only feasible alternatives in all three areas but also probably superior to other existing analyses in at least (a) and (c).

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edited by <peter.szigetvari@elte.hu>
contents last touched Sun Dec 10 10:16:19 CET 2006