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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Tongue root articulations : a case study of Lillooet Remnant, Daphne Elizabeth


This thesis examines retraction and pharyngealization processes in Lillooet, an Interior Salish language spoken in south central British Columbia. Phayngealization occurs predictably whenever a vowel immediately precedes a pharyngeal glide. Retraction, on the other hand, is a process whereby vowels and, in some cases, alveo-palatals are articulated with a retracted tongue root, and is caused by four distinct sets of triggers: uvular consonants, /z z'/ (which is a segment peculiar to Lillooet and not like the English /z/), a floating adversative morpheme, and a floating Tongue Root node that is lexically specified on a stem. In the thesis I present an analysis of these problems within a non-linear framework, adopting the model of phonological geometry proposed in Sagey (1986), and further developed in Clements (to appear). In addition, I adopt the theory of Radical Underspecification presented in (Archangeli and Pulleyblank 1986, 1987) and Archangeli (1988). It is shown that the data of Lillooet motivate the addition of a fourth articulator node, Tongue Root, which dominates the feature [epiglottis]. Two rules of retraction involve spreading of a Tongue Root node which is unspecified for [epiglottis]. The first rule operates locally triggered by the class of consonants which have a Tongue Root node, that is, the uvular consonants and /z z'/. This rule precedes Redundancy Rules which specifies vowels, thereby preventing the rule from applying to schwa, which is analyzed as lacking place features. The second retraction rule applies long distance and follows these Redundancy Rules; schwa thus undergoes this rule. The rule of pharyngealization spreads the feature [+epiglottis] to the preceding vowel. Apart from the specific descriptive conclusions offered, a number of important points emerge concerning the consonant inventory of Lillooet. For example, the discussion in the thesis proves the existence of a class of pharyngeal segments distinct from the uvulars. Again, the evidence adduced refutes speculations that pharyngeal consonants must be characterized by a set of laryngeal features.

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