03_ogrady_representations_ms - Contemporary Linguistics: An...

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Contemporary Linguistics: An Introduction , 5 th edition, Chapter 3: Representations, 1 Representations In recent years, the formalization of rules has become more graphic. This change has taken place because certain types of processes, especially processes of assimilation (where one segment becomes similar in one or more features to a neighboring segment), have been viewed as the spreading of features from one segment (represented as a [feature hierarchy]) to another one. It has also been claimed that a simple set of principles governs the way in which features spread. These graphic presentations of feature changes are referred to as representations. The features themselves are referred to as autosegments—the label suggests that each feature has a certain autonomy in its operation. Assimilation and the feature hierarchy Assimilation processes are particularly amenable to autosegmental representation using the feature hierarchy. This is the case because the overlapping production typical of coarticulation (see Chapter 2, Section 9.1) is neatly represented by the spread of individual features from one segment to another. Assimilation of [+nasal] In English, a vowel nasalizes when it is immediately followed by a nasal consonant in the same syllable. One or more consonants may follow the nasal consonant. (For some speakers, the vowels must also be stressed.) The words banks , shunted , and nimble , for example, are pronounced [bæ ̃ŋ ks], [ ʃʌ̃ nt ə d], and [n ɪ̃ mbl ]. This regressive nasalization in English can be represented as in Figure 1 (the symbol σ following the feature matrices indicates the boundary of the syllable—that is, that the nasal consonant is in the coda; the change undergone by the word bank is provided below the representation).
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This note was uploaded on 05/14/2008 for the course LING 301 taught by Professor Lin during the Spring '08 term at Wisconsin.

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03_ogrady_representations_ms - Contemporary Linguistics: An...

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