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The aim of the paper is to explore three apparently unrelated phenomena, i.e. syllabic consonants, vowel syncope and bogus clusters and provide convincing evidence for their intimate relationship. Specifically, it is pointed out that all three phenomena have the same origin and stem from the expansionist behaviour of sonorants, which in turn is a reaction of the latter to a positional weakness. The author argues that a unified solution for the three structures is possible on condition that in English lexically present nuclei are never properly governed even by the strongest governors, that is, realised vowels. As a result the analysis contributes to the postulation of the governing-ability scale for different types of nuclei in English.
The paper reviews arguments pertaining to the phonological status of the Polish vowels (i) and ('crossed' i); it is concluded that none of the previously proposed interpretations does justice to the complex phonological behaviour of the vowels. The paradigmatic bias of the phonological tradition should be overcome in favour of a balance between the paradigmatic and the syntagmatic areas of the phonological organization. The syntagmatic tilt found in Government Phonology is shown to work well for the Polish data. An interpretation of the Polish front vowels is offered where the central role is played by elements rather than features. Vocalic and consonantal elements are shown to interact in such a way that the distribution of the vowels and the palatalisation of the preceding onset consonant become inseparable. Special attention is paid to the impossibility of ('crossed' i) word-initially; it is argued, however, that the mechanisms controlling this vowel are generally at work in the language. One of the consequences is the impossibility of initial ('inversed' 3) in native words.
The right edge of Polish words exhibits clear phonotactic patterns which have so far eluded a successful analysis. The main causes of the failure are identified as 'wrong focus and inadequate theory of word structure'. The former problem concerns the placement of overdue emphasis on the phenomenon of vowel - zero alternations rather than on the general sound patterns at the right edge, while the latter refers to the choice such theoretical model of syllabification in which two, clearly erroneous assumptions, such as the Sonority Sequencing Generalisation and the view that word-final consonants are codas render the task accounting for the sound patterns unfeasible. An alternative proposal, couched in the model of Government Phonology, is considered, which leads to some unexpected results and theoretical predictions.
(Title in Czech - 'Jak prehlednout jeden druheho: pribeh alternaci vokalu s nulou ve slovanskych jazycich a ve fonologii rizeni'). The classical generative analysis of modern Slavic vowel-zero alternations crucially relies on so-called abstract vowels, the yers. Yers and the mechanism that controls their vocalization, Lower, have been introduced in order to reduce the disjunction in closed syllables and in open syllables if the following vowel alternates with zero to a non-disjunctive phonological reality. The author refers to this disjunction as the yer context. In this article, he shows that the distribution and function of the abstract vowels in question is identical with that of empty nuclei in Government Phonology. A prominent feature of this theory is the extensive use of empty nuclei. His goal was to show that certain generative phonologists used the same concept long before Government Phonology came into being, and for entirely independent reasons, yet without giving any theoretical status to the abstract vowels in question. Government Phonology in turn ignored the Slavic evidence and its analysis when proposing empty nuclei. If this turns out to be true, the idea that syllable structure bears a sizeable number of empty nuclei will be strengthened in a corresponding manner.
Content available remote Ke vzniku fázových sufixů v češtině aneb Jak se domček změnil v domeček
This paper analyzes Czech double diminutives ending in '-ecek' created by the recursive application of the suffix '-ek' whose initial vowel alternates with zero. Diachronically speaking, these diminutives display both patterns of V-zero alternations found in Slavic languages: in OCz they follow the Havlik pattern, where alternants are in complementary distribution ('domocek'), while in MoCz they follow the Lower pattern, where strong alternants (i.e. vowels) are always preceded by strong alternants ('domecek'). The analysis of the Havlik-to-Lower change presented follows Rubach's (1984) classical analysis where the Lower pattern is derived from the cyclic application of the Lower rule which means that only the Lower pattern has internal phase structure. The author argues that in the Lower pattern, all floating vowels in a row (except the final one) vocalize, because each is immediately followed by an empty nucleus which stands at the phase boundary. Furthermore, phasehood is a lexical property, i.e. a property of a particular lexical item, namely the diminutve suffix '-ek'. From this perspective, the Havlik-to-Lower change consists in a change in the properties of the lexicon: only in MoCz is the suffix '-ek' lexically specified as a phase-trigger, in OCz it did not trigger any phase.
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