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28. Current Issues in French Phonology: Liaison and Position Theories


Subject Linguistics

Place Western Europe » France

DOI: 10.1111/b.9780631201267.1996.00030.x


Since the inception of generative phonology some thirty years ago, the treatment of liaison has been a dominant issue in French phonological studies and a standard testing ground for theoretical proposals. The topic was initially placed on the generative agenda in the late 1960s in one of the first extensive accounts of a single language's phonology within the framework of the new theory (Schane 1968, chap. 1). In SPE , French liaison was singled out to motivate, in conjuction with vowel elision, the introduction of the feature [syllabic] and the use of the alpha notation (Chomsky and Halle 1968, pp. 353–355). In the 1970s, French liaison became linked to central theoretical concerns such as (local) rule ordering (e.g., Dell 1973), natural rules and exception theory (e.g., Schane 1973), the abstractness issue (e.g., Selkirk and Vergnaud 1973; Klausenburger 1974, 1978; Tranel 1974, 1981a, 1981b), and the syntax/phonology interface (e.g., Selkirk 1972, 1974; Rotenberg 1978; with subsequent work in the 1980s, e.g., Morin and Kaye 1982; Kaisse 1985; Selkirk 1986; De Jong 1988, 1990b). Throughout the 1980s and continuing into the 1990s, French liaison has found a relevant niche in discussions surrounding the development of nonlinear phonology, particularly with respect to the mediating structures assumed between phonemic melodies and syllable nodes (position theories). The focus of ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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