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Phonological Representations and the Chimeric Behavior of Glides

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Are glides just second-class versions of vowels? If so, why does the glide [y] sometimes become [k] in varieties of Greek and Romance? Why does the glide [w] sometimes become [m]? Moreover, why are glides skipped over in vowel harmony, even though they would seem to involve the same articulatory gestures? In this talk, based on Nevins & Chitoran (2007), i will propose that glides are mentally represented as neither vowels nor consonants, have their own constriction degree, and have two Designated Articulatory organs. The interaction of the logic of abstract binary featural representations together with representational notions such as constrastivity and representational simplification yield this typology of puzzling patterns.

This talk is part of the Linguistics Occasional Talks and Seminars series.

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