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Title: Specification theory : the treatment of redundancy in generative phonology
Author: Broe, Michael B.
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1993
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This thesis presents a principled method of coding redundancy relations directly into phonological representations; an approach which we term STRUCTURED SPECIFICATION. The approach draws on a number of related ideas from the fields of unification-based lexicons, knowledge representation, and the algebraic theory of lattices. This move has a number of implications for phonological theory. It resolves the long standing problem of the reciprocal dependency of phonological features; it reveals a connection between the notion of distinctiveness and the elsewhere condition; it results in a lexicon structured as a single lattice, a storage structure which has implications for recognition, acquisition, and lexical access; it extends naturally to the notion of default properties, which also exhibit a lattice structure based on subsumption; it provides a straightforward formalization of the notion archiphoneme, and permits us to distinguish partially specified from redundantly specified segments; analogously, it provides a means of making a principled distinction between unspecified and unmarked segments; it resolves formal and conceptual inconsistencies which result from combining underspecification theory and the theory of feature geometry, with respect to both subclassification and the treatment of monovalent features; its results in a non-derivational approach to specification theory, an approach which makes different empirical predictions from those of current underspecification theory, predictions which we show to be correct. Finally, structured specification is fully compatible with a constraint-based approach to phonology, and thus constitutes the first appropriate theory of specification for this emerging paradigm.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available