Phonology and dependency

John M. Anderson

in The Substance of Language Volume III

Published in print September 2011 | ISBN: 9780199608331
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191732119 | DOI:
Phonology and dependency

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The presence of the dependency relation, more familiar from discussions of syntax, is nevertheless argued to be a basic analogy between phonological and syntactic structure: it grammaticalizes cognitive salience in both cases. In phonology dependency between elements in the representation guarantees relative timing of those elements. The chapter describes the interaction of dependency, in terms of contrastivity, with linearity in both planes, and with phonological sonority. Sonority is fundamental to determining linearity within the syllable, but in accounting for syllable structure, it must be supplemented with further dependency-based concepts, specifically transitivity, modification, and specification. These also interact with weight and aperture in the phonology. Finally, the relationship between transitivity and ambisyllabicity is presented. This and the next chapter are mainly illustrated from English.

Keywords: dependency and phonology; cognitive salience; timing; contrastivity; linearity; sonority; transitivity; modifier; specifier; ambisyllabity

Chapter.  24732 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Grammar, Syntax and Morphology

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