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This article presents a Government Phonology (GP) analysis of disharmonic words in Turkish. According to GP, phonology is exceptionless. Following this claim, I will argue that the generalisations intended to capture vowel harmony in Turkish had been stated in the wrong way, leading to disharmonic words as an artefact of a faulty analysis. Once this is remedied, the exceptions vanish, allowing for a unified treatment of harmonic and disharmonic words. This also takes into account further details of the Turkish vowel system which had not been incorporated in previous analyses, as well as distributional asymmetries between stems and suffixes.

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Tense? (Re)lax!

A new formalisation for a controversial contrast

Acta Linguistica Academica
Author: Markus A. Pöchtrager


This article looks at what is referred to as the tense/lax contrast in English and proposes that members of the two sets of vowel have the same basic structure but differ in how part of that structure is made use of by its neighbours. The proposal forms part of a general theory of the representation of vowel height within the framework of Government Phonology 2.0.

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Acta Linguistica Hungarica
Authors: Sašo Živanović and Markus Pöchtrager

The article illustrates some of the salient features of Government Phonology (GP) 2.0 by axiomatising (a subclass of) the set of possible Putonghua forms.We show that a phonological theory can profit by assuming that phonological representations are hierarchical, just like syntactic representations. A structural relation of c++command, a relative of the well-known c-command, is used heavily. The similarity with syntax is further underlined by the introduction of a phonological Binding Theory: illicit representations are prohibited by the LUxI Principles, the phonological counterpart of Principles A, B and C.

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This article argues that vowel reduction can be insightfully understood by reinterpreting openness as structural instead of melodic (i.e., mediated by an element). This allows for a unified account of various reduction phenomena in different languages and also extends to lenition in consonants. The proposal made here is couched within Government Phonology 2.0, a further development of Government Phonology.

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