Morphological Sources of Phonological Length

Morphological Sources of Phonological Length

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This study presents and defends Resizing Theory, whose claim is that the overall size of a morpheme can serve as a basic unit of analysis for phonological alternations. Morphemes can increase their size by any number of strategies -- epenthesizing new segments, for example, or devoicing an existing segment (and thereby increasing its phonetic duration) -- but it is the fact of an increase, and not the particular strategy used to implement it, which is linguistically significant. Resizing Theory has some overlap with theories of fortition and lenition, but differs in that it uses the independently-verifiable parameter of size in place of an ad-hoc concept of qstrengthq and thereby encompasses a much greater range of phonological alternations. The theory makes three major predictions, each of which is supported with cross-linguistic evidence. First, seemingly disparate phonological alternations can achieve identical morphological effects, but only if they trigger the same direction of change in a morpheme's size. Second, morpheme interactions can take complete control over phonological outputs, determining surface outputs when traditional features and segments fail to do so. Third and finally, null morpheme realizations are not special cases warranting special analyses, but instead exist along a cline with partial and full morpheme realizations. By integrating well-established facts about phonetic duration directly into the abstract unit of morpheme size, this study solves several outstanding problems that traditional phonological constituents cannot handle, and makes a contribution to the literature on both the phonetics-phonology and phonology-morphology interfaces.The largest cast is also the least tangible, namely the taxpayers of California and the tuition-paying students at the University of California, Berkeley. They probably do not know it, but they have fed me and clothed me, however modestly, duringanbsp;...

Title:Morphological Sources of Phonological Length
Publisher:ProQuest - 2008

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