Latent Segments and Exfixation Introduction

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Cheryl Zoll Parsing Below the Segment. . .

Latent Segments and Exfixation


Chapter 1 demonstrated that invisibility to the syllable constitutes the only automatic consequence of representing a phonological element as a floating feature. Traditionally the realm of floating features embraces exclusively phenomena like those discussed in Chapters 2, 3 and 4, where the features are realized only by docking onto some existing segment. However latent segments also behave exceptionally with respect to parsing, and as argued in Chapter 1, should likewise be represented as floating features. For all floating features the grammar dictates their optimal target. Latent segments differ from prototypical floating features only in that their target is an inserted root node rather than a consonant or vowel present elsewhere in the string.

(1) Exceptional parsing No root node

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