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THEORY: no more URs! [was: Re: Optimum number of symbols]

From:Dirk Elzinga <dirk_elzinga@...>
Date:Friday, May 24, 2002, 16:54
At 2:43 AM -0400 05/24/02, Roger Mills wrote:
>I realize that, but hope you agree that some sort of underlying level is an >improvement... Of course, Chomsky/Halle and Classical Phonemics are extreme >and opposite viewpoints, and the answer, if there is one, probably lies >somewhere between the two....:-)
Well, I'm not convinced anymore that a distinction between underlying and surface representations is necessary (or desireable). Recent work in phonology and morphology being done by Luigi Burzio (yes, that Luigi Burzio) and others claims that anything that URs do can be done by balancing phonotactic requirements with compulsory identity relations within networks of similar forms. That is, 'parent' and 'parental' show segmental consistency not because they both have /parent/ in UR, but because identity constraints hold between the surface forms. The substring {parent} fails to show metrical consistency across the forms (i.e., stress on pá in 'parent', stress on rént in 'parental') since the regular phonotactic pattern of penultimate stress takes precedence over metrical consistency. I am very sympathetic to this idea (no URs); I tried doing something like this in grad school, but I was basically "laughed off the stage" and didn't have the courage to pursue it then. I take you back to your orthography discussion. Dirk -- Dirk Elzinga Man deth swa he byth thonne he mot swa he wile. 'A man does as he is when he can do what he wants.' - Old English Proverb


Raymond Brown <ray.brown@...>
And Rosta <a-rosta@...>