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Re: Ustekkli: a new project (longish)

From:Dirk Elzinga <dirk_elzinga@...>
Date:Friday, February 1, 2002, 23:49
At 2:21 AM +0000 02/01/02, And Rosta wrote:
>Dirk: > >I presume that close v. loose contact makes lexical contrasts? But >what is the rationale for the analysis in terms of syllable contact? >Why not see the oatt:oat contrast as a VCC:VVC contrast that is >neutralized if the syllable loses stress? Is it because there are >morphological alterations that can toggle a single stem between close >and loose, or something like that? If that happens, then the process >looks to me like the morphologically-conditioned alternations of the >CV template that are famous from Semitic.
Yes; syllable contact will make lexcial contrasts. Here's how I see the Problem. A stressed syllable must be heavy. Since both vowel length and consonant gemination are dependent on stress (in the sense that they only show up in stressed syllables), a plausible interpretation of their function is that they represent two alternative ways of expanding a light, stressed syllable. This implies that neither vowel length nor geminated consonants should be present in the input. If stress can be assigned independently of syllable weight, then vowel length and gemination should be assigned after stress. Marking vowel length or gemination would be equivalent to prespecifying stress. For non-alternating forms, this would represent redundancy; for alternating forms, the prespecified lexical stress would need to be overwritten by the stress assigned by rule. So stress shouldn't be marked in underlying forms. So what is marked in underlying form? It isn't stress placement, since stress is assigned by rule. It isn't vowel length or gemination, since these are dependent on stress. The expansion type (vowel lengthening or consonant gemination) does have to be marked, since there are potential lexical contrasts between words like <nikr> ["ni:.k=r] and <nikkr> ["nIk.k=r] which depend solely on the expansion type of the stressed syllable. This is the role that I'm imagining syllable contact to play. If <nikr> is characterized by loose contact, that determines that the expansion type is vowel lengthening, which then doesn't need to be encoded in UR. Likewise, if <nikkr> is characterized by close contact, that determines that the expansion type under stress will be gemination, so gemination doesn't need to be encoded in UR either. (Of course, if the analyst isn't bothered by redundancy in URs, this whole discussion is moot. I'm not sure that I'm bothered by it; current phonological theory (i.e., Optimality Theory) certainly allows for redundant URs.) Part of my goal for Ustekkli is to explore the consequences of this kind of prosody. I haven't seen it in a conlang before, and I thought it'd be interesting to try it out.
Dirk -- Dirk Elzinga "Speech is human, silence is divine, yet also brutish and dead; therefore we must learn both arts." - Thomas Carlyle


And Rosta <a.rosta@...>