handout autosegmental rules 1 SAMPA

handout autosegmental rules 1 SAMPA - Linguistics 304 / 504...

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Linguistics 304 / 504 / Anthro 317 Writing autosegmental rules The linear format for writing rules works fine, but has some drawbacks. The chief one is that it is unconstrained. The formalism does not express any connection between the change that the focus sound(s) undergo and the environment, but usually the two are closely related. The autosegmental formalism was developed as a solution for this shortcoming. Motivations for autosegmental representation: Show relation between change and environment – as in the book’s example where you expect nasals to become labials before labials, not before dorsals. Constrain assimilation rules: a sound will take on features that are already present in its environment. Show the independence of features: one can change while others remain the same. S TEPS FOR WRITING RULES IN AUTOSEGMENTAL FORMAT When writing rules, the first step has to be to figure out what the process is that you are trying to describe. This is more important than any formalism! Figure out where there’s an alternation, what sounds are alternating, and what the lexical representation should be. Identify the type of rule For the time being, we will be dealing with rules which can be classified as one of two types: assimilation rule: the focus takes on some property that is already present in its environment. In terms of features, the focus sound takes on the value of a feature or features that are already present in a sound in the environment. feature-changing rule: some feature or features of the focus change value. Application of the rule will likely be determined by some property of the environment, but the changed feature value does not come from a sound in the environment. When you’re doing a problem, first try to get a general idea of what is happening in the data. A good second step is to decide which of these two types best describes the rule. Identify the features find a minimal set of feature values, shared by all and only the sounds that the rule should apply to. You have to make sure that this set of features will select those sounds to the exclusion of all other sounds in the language. identify the features whose value will be changed by the rule. use features to identify the sounds in the environment that are relevant to the process. Some- times what’s relevant is a word boundary, instead of, or in addition to, sounds in the word. For an assimilation process, the features that are changed by the rule are shared by the sound(s) undergoing the rule and a sound in the environment. In addition to specifying the focus sounds, and the change, you have to specify the relevant aspects of the sounds in the environment. To do this, figure out which additional features are involved, in addition to the one(s) that are changing. Write the rule
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handout autosegmental rules 1 SAMPA - Linguistics 304 / 504...

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