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Syllabemes, and Underspecification

From:Thomas R. Wier <trwier@...>
Date:Tuesday, May 21, 2002, 15:59
Tom Wier:
>> Quoting And Rosta <a-rosta@...>: >> >> > The Livagian script has one character per 'syllabeme' (approximately >> > = syllable), plus further characters representing sequences of more >> > than one syllabeme, which serve to increase written brevity and to >> > exploit the greater ability of scripts (compared to phonology) to >> > sustain contrasts. The syllabeme is the minimal combinatorially >> > unrestricted unit of Livagian phonology. The Livagian script >> > contains thousands of characters, though, so is motivated more >> > by principle than by practical considerations. >> >> So, is a "syllabeme" something like syllabification already >> present in underlying representation? > >So on the whole I'd say you guessed right.
If you're interested in issues like this, I suggest finding a copy (probably from your local university or from the Rutgers Optimality Archive) of Sharon Inkelas's article "The Consequences for Optimization of Underspecification". Therein she discusses the question of whether prosodic structure should be specified at the level of UR. ===================================================================== Thomas Wier "...koruphàs hetéras hetére:isi prosápto:n / Dept. of Linguistics mú:tho:n mè: teléein atrapòn mían..." University of Chicago "To join together diverse peaks of thought / 1010 E. 59th Street and not complete one road that has no turn" Chicago, IL 60637 Empedocles, _On Nature_, on speculative thinkers


And Rosta <a-rosta@...>