Chapter

The structure of the basic unit

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: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199608331.003.0004
The structure of the basic unit

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Words and segments are both categorized in terms of unary features, divided into primary features, determining the basic distribution, and secondary features, substantively appropriate to the primary on which they are dependent. Sonority in phonology has a syntactic analogy in the form of ‘nouniness’. The substantively opposed categorization of nouns and verbs and consonants and vowels is reflected to in the divergent distributions of the two members of each pair. This underlies the inappropriateness of the X-bar hypothesis either in syntax or phonology, now spelled out more explicitly. The greater complexity of categorization in syntax is illustrated, involving derivational relations incompatible with the substance of phonology. The analogical categorizations of syntax and phonology correlate with the expression of natural classes and markedness properties.

Keywords: categorization; unary features; nouniness; X-bar; derivation; natural class; markedness

Chapter.  7752 words. 

Subjects: Grammar, Syntax and Morphology

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