LE 109: Phonological strength relations and segmental speech sounds with reference to some Indian ..

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Phonological strength relations and segmental speech sounds with reference to some Indian Languages
Hemanga Dutta
English and Foreign Languages University, Hyderababd, India
This study drives home the point that the notion of phonological strength is instrumental in the phonological patterning of segmental asymmetry in addition to the hierarchical representation of phonological features.  Phonological strength relation has been interpreted in this study from various perspectives such as dependency phonology and government phonology, positional faithfulness and licensing by cue model, constraint rankings within OT model etc.The findings of this thesis with reference to the data drawn from Assamese and Hindi can be subsumed under two headings: phonological and phonetic. Positional asymmetry is not only phonologically patterned in a dynamic and distributional way but also phonetically authenticated. In other words, the onset coda asymmetry this study shows has some phonetic underpinnings too. In this study various phonological processes are taken in to account in order to deal with the issue of phonological strength.
These processes include assimilation, spirantization, consonant cluster, aspiration and gemination. Prosodically stronger positions such as onsets and initial positions attest the process of fortition such as aspiration which is subject to loss in weaker positions. The process of lenition such as spirantization targets mostly the prosodically weaker positions such as word final and coda position. Here the auhtor has shown that whenever there are two adjacent segments of same sonority value, mostly obstruents, coda segment assimilates to the following obstruent in the onset position. But when the adjacent segments are of asymmetric sonority value, that is, liquids or nasals on the onset position and obstruents in the coda position, the former assimilates to the latter and thereby violates the dictum of positional privilege. A more complex segment is a better candidate to be assimilated whereas the less complex segment is susceptible to alternation.
ISBN 9783862887262. Linguistics Edition 109. 274pp. 2017.
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