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Linguistic Inquiry

Winter 2003, Vol. 34, No. 1, Pages 91-125
(doi: 10.1162/002438903763255931)
© 2003 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Syllabification in Armenian, Universal Grammar, and the Lexicon
Article PDF (172.58 KB)
Abstract

This article approaches from a new angle the question of the extent to which predictable information is stored in the lexicon. By examining the ways in which morphological phenomena can be sensitive to prosodic structure, I argue that some—but not all—predictable information is stored in lexical entries. Detailed analysis of a fragment of the Armenian phonological system, focusing on the behavior of consonants at morpheme edges, supports a more abstract view of phonological representations (containing syllables, appendices, and unparsed segments) than can be inferred from phonetic facts alone, contra Ohala and Kawasaki-Fukumori (1997), Steriade (1999), Scheer (2002), and others. The Armenian facts furthermore indicate that attempts to abandon underlying representations (Flemming 1995, Burzio 1996) are misguided and that we must also retreat from the excessively abstract under specification approaches advocated by most phonologists.