Initial mutation in modern Irish and its implications for phonological theory
This thesis is divided into two parts. In Part I, I discuss the implications for phonological theory of adopting a specific hypothesis concerning rule ordering in phonological grammars. The hypothesis in question claims that rules are ordered, not on a language-specific basis, but according to universally determined principles. Thus it constitutes an elaboration of the theory first developed by Koutsoudas, Sanders and Noll in 1974. Following an introductory chapter, the four remaining chapters in Part I are devoted to the explication of particular interaction- types, as exemplified in widely divergent languages. Associated with each interaction-type is a universal precedence principle. Thus in Chapter 2, Feeding, Obligatory Precedence is treated with particular reference to Mohawk, whilst in Chapter 3, Bleeding, the application of Proper Inclusion Precedence is illustrated and two attested cases of reordering are shown to follow from universal principles. In Chapter 4, Counterbleeding, it is refuted that simultaneity constitutes a possible mode of rule interaction and Deletion Cession is put forward to predict the attested applicational precedences in Amerindian data. Proper Inclusion Precedence undergoes a rigorous tightening- up in Chapter 5, where Morphological Precedence is also seen to account for certain cases of Counterfeeding. Part II draws on the hypothesis elaborated in Part I and is devoted to the phenomenon of Initial Mutation in Modern Irish. The Fragestellung spells out the dual nature of Initial Mutation and suggests a two-stage approach involving Triggering, the assignment of 'triggers of mutation' to syntactic surface structures within an expanded lexicon, and the Realization of those triggers within the phonological component proper. The two subsequent chapters then examine Triggering and Realization in detail, including their formalization and interaction with other processes according to universally determined principles. It is argued that only within the framework developed here can the treatment of Initial Mutation attain descriptive adequacy.