Writing rules in a linear format using features Terminology focus = sounds that undergo change. environment = sounds around the focus that condition the process (determine where or whether it takes place.) The environment can include factors such as position in the word. Rule format focus –> [changed features] / environment • Formally, the focus sound(s) is (are) to be specified by using the minimum number of features that are necessary to identify those sounds, and only those sounds, in the language. • To the right of the arrow are listed all the features that change value between the focus and the new sound being created. • The environment is also to be specified using the minimal set of features that uniquely identifies the appropriate context. Example: In the Hungarian nouns (from earlier handout), where obstruents became voiced preceding a voiced consonant, we could write the rule as follows: [– sonorant] → [+ voice] / __ [– sonorant, + voice] This rule says that an obstruent ([-son]) becomes voiced before any voiced obstruent, even
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