Old World Conference in Phonology 5, University of Toulouse II – Le Mirail, Toulouse, France
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I reanalyse the pattern of initial consonant mutation in Mende by arguing that the so-called ‘weak’ grade, usually assumed to be the derive one, is the default case morphosyntactically, and thus that the consonant mutation mechanism must derive the ‘strong’ rather than the ‘weak’ grade. This is problematic for autosegmental, or probably any purely phonological, accounts of mutation, since the relationship between the weak and strong grades is one-to-many, so I suggest the choice between the two grades is made outside of phonology, with direct reference to the morphosyntax.