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Title:Underspecification in Korean Phonology (Morphology)
Author(s):Sohn, Hyang-Sook
Department / Program:Linguistics
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Language, Linguistics
Abstract:It is the purpose of this work to argue that the uniqueness of a sound is characterized by some, not all, distinctive features, departing from the SPE view of a segment as an unordered set of all the features supplied by universal grammar. By eliminating redundant features from underlying representation and specifying only unpredictable features, underspecification system constrains possible types of phonological processes in a given grammar.
A variety of arguments for feature underspecification are adduced from both vowel and consonantal phenomena of Korean phonology. The least marked vowel, which is argued to be (+) is completely unspecified and due to its featureless representation in the melody plane it is the highest in the hierarchies of both the epenthesis and deletion processes. Resorting to feature underspecification, phenomena of free variation, vowel metathesis and several vowel merger processes are recognized as a single process of simply degeminating the branching structure of the nucleus. Under this generalization, the product of merger of two feature matrices automatically follows, the union of two matrices being the underspecification for a third vowel. In chapter 4 separate processes of tensification, neutralization, and nasal assimilation are also seen to be all conditioned by a single denominal adjective morpheme.
The present study addresses the issue of the structure of features in the melody plane and their relation with other planes of representation. Postulation of feature-sized morphemes for the light ideophone (+low) and the denominal adjective (+constricted glottis) strongly argues for the representation of a feature with no skeletal position. On the other hand, evidence from /s/-irregular verbs provides significant support for the asymmetrical representation of a skeletal slot with no feature specification. This study also argues that glides in Korean are not a part of the onset but a part of the nucleus node, hence providing an insight into possible and impossible diphthong structures. This gives adding support for the claim that glides and vowels are nondistinct underlyingly.
As for the organization of the lexicon, the present study deploys both phonology- and morphology-based arguments against the organization of word formation processes in tandem, in favor of non-linear, simultaneous morphological processes.
Issue Date:1987
Description:364 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1987.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8721763
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-15
Date Deposited:1987

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