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Re: Questions about generative phonology

From:Dirk Elzinga <dirk.elzinga@...>
Date:Friday, January 13, 2006, 18:42

On 1/13/06, Peter Bleackley <Peter.Bleackley@...> wrote:
> With reference to the chart at > > > > 1) How would [4] be represented?
It depends on its phonological behavior. With respect to the feature [±continuant], in my dissertation on Shoshoni phonology, I gave this sound the feature [+cont], since it is the realization of /t/ between vowels, where the preceding vowel is [+back]. (When the preceding vowel is [-back], /t/ is realized as [ð].) This parallels the other voiceless non-continuants, each of which have continuant realizations between vowels: /p/ -> [β], /ts/ -> [z] (Goshute has /tθ/ -> [ð] here), /k/ -> [ɣ], /kʷ/ -> [ɣʷ]. So the complete feature specification for [ɾ] is something like [+cons] [-son] [-syll] [+voice] [+cont] [cor] [+ant] [-dist] [-str] (BTW, I don't agree with the chart WRT the feature [distributed]; dental fricatives are [+dist] and alveolar fricatives are [-dist]. The website you linked to has the right definition of [distributed], but unless the pronunciation of [θ, ð] and [s, z] is very different in Cantonese than in English, he seems to be wrong about the feature assignment.)
> 2) How does generative phonology deal with diphongs?
In classical generative phonology, diphthongs were usually represented as sequences of two adjacent vowels, each with a distinct feature matrix. In contemporary versions of generative phonology, feature matrices are linked to prosodic positions; when a feature matrix is linked to more than one prosodic position, the segment is realized phonetically with additional length (i.e., a geminate). When more than feature matrix is linked to a single prosodic position, the result is a so-called "contour segment". Affricates are a good example of contour segments, being both [-cont] and [+cont] (this is explicitly acknowledged in the IPA representation of affricates as digraphs). A potential contrast of long and short diphthongs can then be realized as two feature matrices linked to either two prosodic positions (long) or one (short).
> Would either of these require additional features not on the chart?
> 3) Am I correct in thinking that [x] is [+str][-sib]?
Generally, only one of these features is used. Ladefoged's Course in Phonetics defines sibilant as "A speech sound in which there is high-pitched, turbulent noise, as in English [s] and [ʃ] in sip and ship." Chomsky and Halle (1968) define strident sounds and those sounds which are "marked acoustically by greater noisiness than their nonstrident counterparts." Both definitions cover about the same ground, but Ladefoged's definition seems to be absolute, but C & H's relative (they give [ɸ, β] as examples of nonstridents compared with [f, v]). I would not define [x] as [+str], but again, it will depend on the language in question. In Shoshoni, there are two segments which are underlyingly strident: /ts/ and /s/. In the Goshute dialect, /ts/ is replaced by /tθ/, leaving only one strident. So in Shoshoni, I don't need both [strident] and [sibilant] and chose [strident] arbitrarily as the name of the feature expressing this acoustic property. Dirk -- Gmail Warning: Watch the reply-to!