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Title:Phonology with Ternary Scales
Authors:Amalia E. Gnanadesikan
Comment:U. of Massachusetts dissertation in 7 files
Abstract:Phonology with Ternary Scales

Amalia Gnanadesikan

Ph. D. Dissertation

University of Massachusetts, Amherst

This work proposes a series of ternary scales which make certain

phonological distinctions traditionally made with binary or

privative features. The dissertation focuses on the Inherent

Voicing scale, which has the values Voiceless Obstruent, Voiced

Obstruent, and Sonorant. This scale replaces the traditional

features [voice] and [sonorant]. Other scales proposed are the

Consonantal Stricture scale (stop, fricative, approximant/vocoid)

and the Vowel Height scale (low, mid, high), which replace

[continuant], [consonantal], [high] and [low].

Applied within Optimality Theory, the ternary scales framework

provides natural explanations for a number of phonological

processes which are opaque in binary models. A ternary scale

groups together certain phonological classes, while also making

a statement that some values on the scale are closer to each

other than others. Specifically, some values are adjacent on

the scale and others not. This statement is impossible to make

in binary features, but is necessary to capturing certain

phonological phenomena. Once assimilation constraints and

faithfulness constraints are allowed to make reference to the

order and adjacency of the scale values, a natural explanation

emerges for previously puzzling processes, such as chain shifts,

attraction (as when voiceless obstruents voice before sonorants,

or low vowels become mid before high vowels) and coalescence (as

when low vowels and high vowels coalesce to mid). Other, more

apparently binary processes (such as voicing assimilation or

neutralization in obstruents) are also analyzed on the ternary

scale. Such processes are part of a larger class of phenomena

which call for a ternary analysis.

Chapter 2 considers assimilation and attraction on the Inherent

Voicing scale, showing that voicing assimilations in obstruents

are a subset of assimilations occurring on the full ternary scale.

Chapter 3 analyzes chain shifts (where voiceless obstruents voice

and voiced obstruents become sonorants) as one-step movements

along the ternary scale, caused by faithfulness constraints which

require that the output stay near the input. Chapter 4 examines

the effects of the markedness of voiced obstruents (including

coda neutralization) in the context of the Inherent Voicing Scale.

Chapter 5 turns to the Consonantal Stricture Scale and Vowel

Height Scale, applying analyses developed in earlier chapters.

File 1: Front matter

Files 2-6: Chapters 1-5

File 7: References
Article:Version 1