Introduction to Government Phonology

Markus Alexander Poechtrager

This course is an introduction to Standard Government Phonology (GP). GP assumes that phonology is essentially parallel to syntax in that phonological phenomena can be derived from universal principles and parameters (UG).

We will start with the very basics and discuss what kinds of ingredients a successful phonological theory needs. This leads us quite naturally to an evaluation of how these requirements are met in Government Phonology and we can discuss the basic (“meta-theoretical”) rules of the game, such as, say, the Non-Arbitrariness Principle, the Universality Principle, the Minimality Hypothesis and the role of morphology. Given the time restrictions of the school we will then concentrate on one sub-theory of GP, viz. element theory (the theory of melody), and discuss some of the (by now) classic sets of data that have received considerable attention in the GP literature such as vowel harmony, tapping/lenition in general and vowel-zero alternations. The last phenomenon will lead us to the second sub-theory of GP, the theory of constituent structure, which we will only touch upon briefly, however – also because constituent structure has been the focal point of much debate in GP circles, with quite some amout of disagreement. (This has led to various offsprings from the standard theory, and I will try to give and idea of what the debate is about towards the end of the course.)

Handouts will be provided; for those who want to do some reading in advance, I would suggest the following texts, most of which are available on the Internet (marked [www], to be found at Tobias Scheer's site, "other people's papers" and "my own papers & handouts").

Standard GP Readings

Brockhaus, Wiebke (1995): Skeletal and suprasegmental structure within Government Phonology. In: Jacques Durand & Francis Katamba (eds.): Frontiers of Phonology: Atoms, Structures, Derivations. London, New York: Longman. 180—221. [www]

Harris, John (1994): English Sound Structure. Oxford: Blackwell.

Charette, Monik (1990): Licence to govern. In: Phonology 7. 233—253. [www]

Charette, Monik (1991): Conditions on phonological government. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Kaye, Jonathan (1989): Phonology: A Cognitive View. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Kaye, Jonathan (1990): ''Coda' Licensing.' In: Phonology 7. 301—330. [www]

Kaye, Jonathan (1995): Derivations and interfaces. In: Jacques Durand & Francis Katamba (eds.): Frontiers of Phonology: Atoms, Structures, Derivations. London, New York: Longman. 289—332.

Kaye, Jonathan (2000): A User's Guide to Government Phonology (GP). Unpublished Ms. [www]

Kaye, Jonathan, Jean Lowenstamm & Jean-Roger Vergnaud (1985): The internal structure of phonological elements: a theory of charm and government. In: Phonology Yearbook 2. 303—328.

Kaye, Jonathan, Jean Lowenstamm & Jean-Roger Vergnaud (1990): Constituent structure and government in phonology. In: Phonology 7. 193—231. [www]

CVCV Readings (one of the offsprings)

Lowenstamm, Jean (1996): CV as the only syllable type. Current trends in Phonology. Models and Methods, edited by Jacques Durand & Bernard Laks, 419-441. Salford, Manchester: ESRI. [www]

Lowenstamm, Jean (1999): The beginning of the word. Phonologica 1996, John Rennison and Klaus Kühnhammer, 153-166. The Hague: Holland Academic Graphics. [www]

Scheer, Tobias (2004): A lateral theory of phonology. Vol 1: What is CVCV, and why should it be? Mouton de Gruyter, Berlin.

Scheer, Tobias (forth.): A lateral theory of phonology. Vol 2: On Locality, Morphology and Phonology in Phonology. To appear at Mouton de Gruyter, Berlin.

Ségéral, Philippe & Tobias Scheer (2001): La Coda-Miroir. Bulletin de la Société de Linguistique de Paris 96, 107-152. [www]