An Effort Based Approach to Consonant Lenition

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Psychology Press, 2001 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 303 pages
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This work presents a formal characterization of lenition processes and idenitifies the environments in which they typically occurs. The author presents a unified approach to consonant lenition, wherein particular lenition patterns arise from optimality theoretic conflict between a principle of effort minimization and faithfulness to auditory features, in combination with (perceptually based) fortition constraints. The approach is illustrated with case studies of lenition in Tumpisa Shoshone and Florentine Italian. This book represents a significant contribution to the debate on the role of phonetic optimalization in phonological theory.
 

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Contents

Introduction
3
Overview of the Survey
4
Previous Approaches
10
An EffortBased Approach to Lenition
18
Structure of the Dissertation
26
Articulatory Effort
29
The Neuromuscular Basis of Effort
30
A Biomechanical Approach to Effort
31
Lenition or Fortition with Indeterminate URs
71
Summary
74
Spirantization and Stridency
77
An EffortBased Explanation
85
Formal Capture of the Phonetic Explanation
89
Lenition of Affricates
90
Analysis of Assibilation
91
Summary and Discussion
92

Precision
41
Effort Minimization and Voicing Lenition
43
Summary
46
Representational Issues
47
Smolenskys Challenge to the Standard Model
51
A Definition of Contrastiveness
57
Aspiration
59
Vowel
61
the Contrastiveness Theorem
65
Categorical Effects with Continuous Representations
67
Geminates
97
EffortBased Contexts
137
Tiimpisa Shoshone
175
Florentine Italian
193
Conclusion Stabilization of Lenition Patterns
223
Survey of Lenition Patterns
231
Notes
245
References
259
Index
291
Copyright

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About the author (2001)

Robert Kirchner earned his PHD from UCLA and is currently Assistant Professor of Linguistics at the University of Alberta.

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