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PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2007 8:13 pm 
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There are two stories about this.
  1. KLV 1985 claim that elements have a property called charm. A is positively charmed, I and U are negatively charmed. Like charm repels one another. Opposite charm attracts one another.
  2. the autosegmental lines that elements reside on may be merged. In 3-vowel systems all three lines (those of A, I, and U) are merged, inhibiting any combination of them from cooccurring. It is first the A line that splits of, resulting in an A-line and an I/U-line. Here A can merge with I or U, but the latter two can't. In an even more complex system the I- and U-lines split apart, hence they can also cooccur.

Finally it must be mentioned that i/e/y/u/A systems do exist, e.g., Lass mentions that of K'üri (1984:139f).

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2007 5:07 pm 
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A,U,I -related question. If o={A,U} and e={A,I} and y={U,I}, then these three sounds are equally complex. Yet, it seems to me that y is more marked then o and e. E.g. Harris and Lindsey (and maybe other papers if I remember correctly) talk about (a,i,u) languages and (a,e,i,o,u) languages, but I haven't yet come across a language with a vowel inventory of, say, (a,i,y,o,u). (This may be just my bad luck of course.) So is y really more marked then o and e? And if so, how can this be if all three are supposed to be equally complex?


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2007 1:57 pm 
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If the t of tik were a coda, it would have to be followed by an empty onset. Such a configuration is impossible. This is generally called onset maximization. In GP the empty onset would have to govern the coda, which is impossible.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2007 12:40 pm 
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I see, but then, if we have a word like tik, how do we actually go about proving that t is an onset? (and not a coda following an empty nucleus, say.) OK, we check whether it is ever resyllabified. Suppose we find it never is. So is this enough proof? Or should we look for more? And where?


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2007 11:44 pm 
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I think the idea behind KLV's claim is this: word boundaries are empirical, i.e., if you want to claim that a word boundary is not where we think it is, you have to give arguments. Syllable boundaries, on the other hand, are not empirical, all we know about them is that a [+syllabic] segment together with some others around it constitute a syllable. (Not even that, people do occasionally argue if a French word like vitre contains one or two syllabic segments.) Some analysts will syllabify salad as sal.ad, others as sa.lad. You have to argue for your analysis. Now those who claim that the str of street is a branching onset do not argue. They simply declare this, basing it on the implicit hypothesis that syllable boundaries always coincide with word boundaries. But we all know, they do not: cf., e.g., nonrhotic English accents where an [r] is pronounced word finally if the next word begins with a vowel. This is because it is resyllabified, i.e., the word boundary does not coincide with the syllable boundary. And, in fact, KLV collect arguements for the heterosyllabic analysis of s+C arguments, while adherents of the tautosyllabic analysis rarely do so (because of their implicity axiom).

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 Post subject: ANN-341.18 Government Phonology
PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2007 10:15 pm 
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KLV on p. 204 wrote:
[...] the mere existence of words in various languages that begin with all kinds of exotic sequences of consonants is completely irrelevant to discussions of syllabe structure. Evidence must be provided that these sequences form onsets.
Well, I think the burden of proof should lie with the other side: "all kinds of exotic sequences of consonants" in a #_V position (# indicating word boundary) should be regarded as forming an onset unless someone provides evidence to the contrary.


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