Reiss (2017) – Contrast is irrelevant in phonology: A simple account of Russian /v/ as /V/

Contrast is irrelevant in phonology: A simple account of Russian /v/ as /V/
Charles Reiss
direct link: http://ling.auf.net/lingbuzz/003734
January 2017
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.

Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/003734
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: Beyond Markedness in Formal Phonology (2017) edited by Bridget Samuels
keywords: phonology, underspecification, russian, sonorant, contrast, markedness, phonology
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