Journal of English Teaching through Movies and Media 2005;6(2):193-210.
Published online December 30, 2005.
Fronting in Mercian: Based on the Dependency Phonology
Soo Wook Jee
The purpose of this paper under the dependency phonology (henceforth, DP) framework is to offer a new account of the fronting process in Mercian dialect of the Old English period. The account based on the traditional generative phonology raises some problems: it sets up a few arbitrary rules and does not grasp the intrinsic nature of the fronting process in Mercian dialect. On the contrary, the new account based on the DP provides a simple and intrinsic account of the fronting process in Mercian without the necessity of setting up a few arbitrary and temporary rules. DP assumes that the dependency, or head/dependent, relation is fundamental to phonology and analyzes segments into component properties, generally known as unary primitives. Using these concepts, this new analysis proposed here defines the fronting process in Mercian concisely as the one-step increase of the |i|-quality, or |i| primitive, unifying the different two phonological processes (/æ/ → [e], /a/ → [æ]) into one process. In addition, this analysis can be extended in the account of the /i/-umlaut which occurred commonly in the Old English period and thus can capture a unified generalization among the different phonological processes.
Key Words: /a/-Restoration;/æ/-Raising;Second Fronting;Arbitrary Rules;Dependency Phonology;Head/Dependent Relation;Unary Primitives;One-step Increase of |i|-quality;Explanatory Adequacy;Unified Generalization
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