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Title:Vowel Quality and Phonological Projection
Authors:Marc van Oostendorp
Comment:File 1 is 360 pp US size, File 2 320pp A4 size paper
Abstract: Vowel Quality and Phonological Projection. (PhD Diss, 1995)

ROA-84 (360pp US size; 320pp A4)

oostendorp-all-ps.zip (Entire, US size paper, zipped archive)

oostendorp-1.ps ,,, oostendorp-8.ps (Chapters, US size paper)

oostendorp-all-ps.A4.zip (Entire, A4 size paper, zipped)

oostendorp-1.ps.A4 ,,, oostendorp-8.ps.A4 (Chapters, A4)

Marc van Oostendorp

Werkverband Grammaticamodellen

Tilburg University


This thesis examines some consequences of the hypothesis that

syllables are headed constituents. In particular we examine to what

extent phonological features of prototypical heads, that is to say:

vowels, have an influence on the structure of the syllable around the

head. Central to the discussion are Standard Dutch and some Dutch

dialects, such as Tilburg Dutch and Rotterdam Dutch, but also other

languages, such as Javanese, French, Gothic and Norwegian receive some

treatment. After a general introductory chapter the following topics

are discussed.

In the chapters 2 and 3 we analyse the contrast between tense and lax

(or long versus short) vowels in Standard Dutch. It is claimed that

this difference can only be described in a satisfactory way when using

the feature Retracted Tongue Root (RTR). We also posit a constraint

which relates this feature to the open versus closed nature of a

syllable. Very strong evidence for this relation is drawn from

languages such as Andalusian Spanish and Eastern Javanese which

combine the open-closed contrast with vowel harmony on the feature

RTR. Also a dialect like Tilburg Dutch is of interest, because it has

both a tense-lax and a long-short contrast. In this dialect we can

also see that vowel length in Dutch-type systems corresponds to +RTR,

not to -RTR, as is usually assumed on the basis of Standard Dutch.

In chapters 4 and 5 we discuss Dutch schwa. This vowel has to be

analysed as almost empty, both from a phonetic and phonological point

of view. This featurelessness corresponds to several special

properties of this vowel: it is the reduction vowel, the epenthetic

vowel and as an underlying vowel it only supports syllables with a

very simple structure, viz. a simple onset and a coda in which we only

find a sonorant consonant. It is shown that all of these properties

are indeed directly dependent on the emptiness of schwa.

In chapter 6 the analysis of Dutch schwa is applied to a number of

other languages, especially French and Norwegian. French schwa allows

a complex onset but no coda and therefore seems markedly different

from its Dutch counterpart. Norwegian has both a French (eple) and a

Dutch schwa (tiger). These schwas however still have a different

status in the language: we do not find words such as *katrel. These

differences between the three languages are described in terms of

independently motivated constraints en on top of this it is shown that

the three languages still show a few very remarkable similarities.

In chapter 7 we discuss the occurrence of vowels in a position outside

the head. The main topic of discussion here is a striking alternation

between the high vowel [i] and the syllable [j@] we find in Rotterdam

Dutch monomorphemic forms, second person singular clitics and

diminutive forms. The competition between these two forms can be

described in Optimality Theory. It appears that /i/ acts as a better

nuclear head and that the form with schwa only surfaces where a

realisation of the full vowel is blocked. A comparison of the

Rotterdam process to Sievers' Law in Gothic additionally provides us

with extra evidence against a length analysis of Standard Dutch.

Chapter 8 gives an overview of the family of constraints which form

the backbone of most analyses in the thesis: the family of projection

constraints. All of these constraint connect the occurrence or

non-occurrence of a certain feature to the occurrence or

non-occurrence of certain types of prosodic structure. It is shown

that the notion of a constraint family provides us with an elegant and

satisfying metatheory of phonological projection.

Article:Version 1