Iosad, Pavel. 2017. The phonologization of redundancy: Length and quality in Welsh vowels. Phonology 34(1), 121–162.

doi:10.1017/S0952675717000057

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Categories:  Papers Welsh Phonetics-phonology interface Substance-free phonology Feature theory Contrast in phonology

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‘Phonologization’ is a process whereby a phonetic phenomenon enters the phonological grammar and becomes conceptualized as the result of categorical manipulation of phonological symbols. I analyse the phonologization of a predictable phonological pattern in Welsh, with particular attention to identifying criteria for whether phonologization has occurred. I argue for a model where phonologization experiences bottom-up and top-down biases. From the bottom up, there is pressure to phonologize phenomena with a categorical distribution; from the top down, there exist formal constraints on featural specification. I focus on the requirement for featural specifications to obey the Contrastivist Hypothesis, which denies that redundant features can be involved in phonological computation, in the context of a framework with emergent features. I suggest that the Contrastivist Hypothesis acts as a useful check for emergent-feature theories, whilst independent phonologization criteria provide contrastivist approaches with a more solid conceptual underpinning.

You can also download the R notebook with the graphics and scripts from the paper and the data itself here at Open Science Framework


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I’m Pavel Iosad, and I'm a Lecturer in Theoretical Phonology in the department of Linguistics and English Language at the University of Edinburgh. ¶ You can always go to the start page to learn more.

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