Chapter published in:Beyond Markedness in Formal Phonology
Edited by Bridget D. Samuels
[Linguistik Aktuell/Linguistics Today 241] 2017
► pp. 23–46
Chapter 2. Contrast is irrelevant in phonology
A simple account of Russian /v/ as /V/
Halle’s (1959) argument against a distinction between morphophonemic and phonemic rules can be understood as an argument against the relevance of contrast to phonology. After adducing further arguments against a role for contrast, the paper provides a simple contrast-free analysis of the classic problem of the voicing behavior of Russian /v/. This segment undergoes voicing assimilation (like other obstruents), but does not trigger it (thus acting like the sonorants). In contrast to a long history of treating /v/ as a covert sonorant, the paper attributes the behavior of Russian /v/, which surfaces always as an obstruent, to underspecification with respect to the feature Voice.
Keywords: allophony, contrast, deletion, epistemology, feature-changing, feature-filling, insertion, longdistance rules, natural class, neutralization, rule, Russian, Sonorant Voicing, Tangale, underspecification, unification, vowel harmony
Published online: 16 November 2017
Bale, Alan, Papillon, Maxime & Reiss, Charles
Bale, Alan, Reiss, Charles & Ta-Chun Shen, David
Burton, Martha W. & Robblee, Karen E.
Gordon, Matthew & Ladefoged, Peter
Hale, Mark, Kissock, Madelyn & Reiss, Charles
van der Hulst, Harry & van de Weijer, Jeroen
Mailhot, Frederic & Reiss, Charles
McCawley, James D.
Poser, William J.