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The Representation of Coronal Segments

Broadbent, Judith M; (1996) The Representation of Coronal Segments. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

In this thesis I am concerned with the way in which coronal segments should be represented. I argue that coronality is a phonetic rather than a phonological concept and that coronal segments are represented in the phonological component by the aperture particle A. In vowels, the aperture particle represents the central vowel of the language. In a language such as English therefore, A represents schwa. One consequence of this is that I am able to establish a connection between the most commonly unmarked vowel (i.e. a schwa-/a/ type vowel) and the unmarked oral place, namely coronal. In chapter 1, I set out the background to the study of the representation of coronal. In the general background I outline the representational issues which a thesis of this kind needs to consider. The specific introduction deals with two contemporary phonological debates in which coronals are central. The first concerns the extent to which consonants and vowels share the same place features and the second concerns their unmarked and special status. In chapter 2, I discuss the classic problem of linking and intrusive r in English. I argue that r-sandhi is a process of Glide Formation. Once r-sandhi is viewed in this way two consequences ensue. First of all, I can provide a non-arbitrary account of this problem and secondly, a connection is suggested between schwa, represented by A, and /r/. In chapter 3, I consider the possibility that the use of A can be extended to other coronal segments. The principle data source is English. Specifically, synchronic dialectal phenomena and some diachronic phenomena are adduced as evidence for a A-coronal connection. Having established this, I consider the way in which coronal can be derived from A. Chapter 4 discusses the implications of the representation of consonantal place in a system where coronal is represented by A. Chapter 5 considers the implications of the link between schwa-A and coronal for the special status of coronals. Finally, in chapter 6, I return to the widely-held coronal-vowel connection introduced in chapter 1. I discuss an approach which groups coronal consonants with front vowels and evaluate some of the evidence put forward to support this class. I demonstrate that some of the main supporting evidence is more compatible with the coronal-A approach.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: The Representation of Coronal Segments
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
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10104494
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