Complexity scales and licensing in phonology by Eugeniusz Cyran

By Eugeniusz Cyran

This publication is an try and display that the fundamental rules of phonological association boil right down to the interplay among the power of nuclei as licensers of phonological constitution and numerous non-rerankable scales of complexity taking place at various degrees of phonological illustration. The licensing relation among nuclei and the previous onsets at the one hand, and governing family between Read more...

content material: Preface --
1. substantial complexity --
2. Formal complexity --
three. The phonological constitution of phrases --
end --
References --
topic index --
Language index.

goals to illustrate that the fundamental ideas of phonological association boil all the way down to the interplay among the power of nuclei as licensers of phonological constitution and various Read more...

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Example text

Thus, the best branching onsets are those which involve an obstruent as the first element and a glide or liquid as the second. What is required then is sufficient distance in terms of sonority, strength, or complexity between the two consonants. Below, we compare a fragment of the phonotactics in English and Polish, in which the preferences seem to be contradictory. While in the sonority and strength systems this problem cannot be solved without arbitrary reshuffling of the scales, in the complexity-based model the facts fall out directly from what we know about the representation of obstruents in the two languages.

73 Under the ‘no-noise’ assumption this problem is non-existent, as the shift [m] > [v] is simply (U,N) > (U). _). On the other hand, in models operating with sonority or strength scales the position of this segment in Irish should be relatively 71 Note that the representations in (23) show distinctions which are hardly calculable in sonority-based systems. 72 One should bear in mind that the presence of (h) does not guarantee the presence of affricates. What is meant here is that the absence of (h) in a system means that it will not have such objects.

This also refers to the seemingly identical systems of plosives (25). What these results demonstrate is that it is impossible and hence erroneous to determine the phonological composition of segments on phonetic grounds, or on the basis of a superficial analysis. Phonetic contrasts in voicing do not directly correspond to particular laryngeal elements. Likewise, some phonetic contrasts in manner of articulation need not directly correspond to particular elements. 70 67 In fact, the effects formerly ascribed to the noise element (h) are now often attributed to the dual behaviour of the high tone (H).

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