The Even Yearbook 11 (2014)

ELTE SEAS Working Papers in Linguistics, ISSN 2061–490X

authors: Benkő, Csontos, Newson, Szigetvári, Varga
editors: Mark Newson & Péter Szigetvári (editorial note)


Ágnes Benkő
Vacillating stems in Hungarian
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Variation in the vowel harmony pattern of Hungarian is often caused by neutral vowels. Stems which contain a back vowel followed by a neutral vowel may have stable back or front suffix preference or they may take both front and back suffixes. The choice of the suffix allomorph of vacillating stems may be influenced by the broader context in which they appear. The present paper compares the behaviour of vacillating and non-vacillating stems and shows that not only vacillating stems, but also non-vacillating stems with strong back or front suffix preference may be influenced by a broader context. The results suggest that a unified treatment of vacillating and non-vacillating stems of the same structure is possible.

Keywords: Hungarian vowel harmony, neutral vowels, variation, vacillation

Tamás Csontos
Passivization in German: A Syntax First Alignment Approach
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This article introduces two German passivising constructions (Zustandspassiv and Vorgangspassiv) focusing on the distribution of the auxiliaries werden and sein. The framework I am going to adopt is Syntax First Alignment. I am going to argue that this model can also explain why the external argument can be missing in the passive voice.

Keywords: passive, Syntax First Alignment, external arguments, werden, sein

Mark Newson
Binding revisited
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Binding phenomena have traditionally been accounted for using constituent structure notions, such as c-command and binding category. In this paper I demonstrate that it is possible to do away with such notions, replacing them with non-constituent structural notions, and still achieve descriptively accurate results. I present an analysis constructed within the Syntax First Alignment system, based on Newson’s (1998) OT analysis which itself made use of traditional structure based concepts. The analysis presented here differs from the original analysis in remarkable few ways despite the fact that it abandons all notions of c-command and binding categories. However, the new analysis goes further than the original accounting for the behaviour of anaphoric subjects of ECM clauses, which in previous theories have at best received only stipulative accounts.

Keywords: syntax first alignment, reflexivity, late lexical insertion, ECM constructuions

Péter Szigetvári
Two more, three less: Diphthongs in British English
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We argue that contrary to what the widely used transcription systems of Gimson (1967) and his successor Wells (1990, 2008) claim, the vowels of near (ɪə), square (ɛə), and cure (ʊə) are not diphthongs, ie current British English has no centring diphthongs at all, and that the vowels of fleece (iː) and goose (uː) are not long monophthongs but diphthongs, both phonetically and, more importantly, phonologically.

Keywords: British English, centring diphthongs, vowel system, vowel phontactics

László Varga
The falling-rising intonation in English: Its subtypes, functions, and representations
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In this paper I examine the controversial issue of the Falling-Rising contour (FR) of British English intonation.

First I briefly review the functions and phonetic characteristics of the Simple FR and the Compound FR, and sum up the phonetic differences that may exist between these two subtypes, on the basis of the descriptions available in the literature. I also point out that the wide-spread account of the Compound FR as being a manifestation of intonational sandhi is not feasible in many cases.

Then I examine the suggestion (by Grice, Ladd & Arvaniti 2000, and by Ladd 2008) that the two subtypes are phonologically identical, both representable in autosegmental terms as H* L- H% (where the L- is a doubly copied phrase accent, usually copied to different positions in the two subtypes). I reject this suggestion for several reasons, the most important reason being that the L- phrase accent may have to be copied to exactly the same positions in both subtypes, thus yielding identical representations for both subtypes, although their meanings would still be different (cf. I vlike chocolate vs. I \like /chocolate). Since analying them both in the same way cannot be correct, I think that the two subtypes are phonologically different: both representations begin with a bitonal pitch accent H*+L (rather than with a monotonal H*, as suggested by Grice, Ladd & Arvaniti 2000, and Ladd 2008), and finish with the edge tone combination L- H%, but they differ in what there is between the initial pitch accent H*+L and the final edge tones L-H%. In the Simple FR there is nothing there: H*+L L-H%, whereas in the Compound FR there is a downgraded pitch accent L(*) in that position: H*+L L(*) L-H%.

Key words: intonation, simple fall-rise, compound fall-rise, pitch accent, phrase accent, boundary tone, intonational sandhi