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The phonologization of redundancy: Length and quality in Welsh vowels

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    Rights statement: This article has been published in a revised form in Phonology DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0952675717000057. This version is free to view and download for private research and study only. Not for re-distribution, re-sale or use in derivative works. © copyright holder.

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-162
JournalPhonology
Volume34
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 5 May 2017

Abstract

‘Phonologisation’ is a process whereby a phonetic phenomenon enters the phonological grammar and becomes conceptualised as the result of categorical manipulation of phonological symbols. I analyse the phonologisation of a predictable phonological pattern in Welsh, with particular attention to identifying criteria for whether phonologisation has occurred. I argue for a model where phonologisation experiences bottom-up and top-down biases. From the bottom up, there is pressure to phonologise phenomena with a categorical distribution; from the top down, there exist formal constraints on featural specification. I focus on the requirement for featural specifications to obey the Contrastivist Hypothesis, which denies that redundant features can be involved in phonological computation, in the context of a framework with emergent features. I suggest that the Contrastivist Hypothesis provides a useful boundary condition for emergent-feature theories, whilst independent phonologisation criteria provide contrastivist approaches with a more solid conceptual underpinning.

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