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Modern Greek phonological variation: A government phonology approach

Pagoni, Stamatia; (1993) Modern Greek phonological variation: A government phonology approach. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

This thesis explores the phonological variation that may take place in Modern Greek when nasal and oral stops occur in strictly adjacent syllabic positions in a variety of syllabic structures. This analysis, based exclusively on more than 50 hours of tape-recorded speech, is formulated within the theoretical framework of Government Phonology. Its aim is to show that the phonological behaviour of Modern Greek nasal and oral stop sequences depends on the syllabic structure in which they occur. I first introduce the Modern Greek variation data and their phonological behaviour. I then review the best-known accounts of this phenomenon. Their shortcomings and weaknesses (mainly in terms of inadequacy of the theoretical frameworks employed) lead me to adopt the highly restrictive theory of Government Phonology. I accordingly present its main theoretical principles and stipulations. I subsequently discuss (i) the internal structure of nasal and oral stops and (ii) the lexical distinctiveness of their compositional elements. I show that lexically Modern Greek (i) possesses only neutral oral stops and (ii) always derives its voiced oral stops from the interactions that take place between strictly adjacent nasal and oral stops. Particular interactions are either optional or categorical, depending on the syllabic structure of a word. I also investigate the syllabic structure of pt/kt, pn/kn, ps/ks (two onset heads separated by an empty nucleus) and ts (contour segment). As their initial segment is an oral stop, these sequences also participate in Modern Greek phonological variation processes. I then present the realisations that underlying nasal and oral stop sequences have in different environments. I explain why these realisations depend on the syllabic structure in which the nasal and oral stop sequences occur. Finally, I examine and reject the existence of prenasalisation as a phonological phenomenon in Modern Greek.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Modern Greek phonological variation: A government phonology approach
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest.
Keywords: Language, literature and linguistics; Greek language
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10104470
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