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Constituent structure and government in phonology*

  • Jonathan Kaye (a1), Jean Lowenstamm (a2) and Jean-Roger Vergnaud (a3)


Our aim in this paper is to address certain empirical and conceptual issues in the theory of Universal Phonology. Specifically, we will formulate a number of proposals aimed at characterising the notion ‘possible syllable' and ‘possible word'. The principles we will lay out follow from what we see as a unified theory of phonological government.

The introduction of the notion of multi-levelled representations, as well as the recognition of constituent structure organisation in phonology, has allowed for a shift from mainly segment-internal, paradigmatic considerations to the study of syntagmatic relations holding between phonological units. What is now required is nothing less than a syntax of phonological expressions.



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