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Comparative analysis on kikuyu

Comparative Examination on Kikuyu within the SPE and Post-SPE Framework

Term Paper for Foundations of Phonology Course


This paper is aimed at observing the data group of Kikuyu dialect. Two frameworks will be compared, i.e. the Sound Design of English (henceforth; SPE), and Content SPE (Autosegmental Phonology). Within the discussion, methods form other theories will also be highlighted; however, the key point addressed in this paper is to evaluate the data set of Kikuyu based on phonological theories within both frameworks involved.

Based on SPE theory, the lexical entries should contain sufficient information for the phonological guidelines in order to identify its phonetic forms for each context. Basically, each lexical access is entered as a couple of phonological distinctive features. Furthermore, the underlying representation (UR) is considered as an abstract representation compared to a surface representation (SR). Along the paper, we will talk about both frameworks as well as feature notations and then we will analyze the data set segmentally to obtain the rules governing the words of Kikuyu.

In another section, we will try to evaluate the variability of the coordinated articulary apparatus with the spirit of the Post-SPE framework driven by several queries in the optimization of the data set analysis of with respect to the framework inquestion. Through the analysis, we won’t consider some basic requirements such as for example No Crossing Constraint and Linking Constraint in purchase to be steady with the well-formedness state of Post-SPE framework. Furthermore, we will also approach the so-referred to as geometry of phonetic representations accompanied by enough examples to determine any possible solution.

One of the central concerns addressed within this paper may be the analysis on the shifting of nasal + consonant with regards to the given data set. We will try to review two theories involved and observe those theories could account for the changes in the info set. At a soon after stage, we will have which theory casts better analysis of the given info than the other does.

Some literatures will be considered specifically those from the textbook of Phonological Theory: The Essential Readings by Goldsmith, J. such as for example The Sound Design of English by Chomsky, N. and Halle, M., among others, as well as relevant sources which might give us more information regarding the language of Kikuyu. Now, let us feel the analysis from the primary framework, i just.e. the SPE framework.

The SPE Framework

The SPE framework is certainly believed to be the basis of Generative Phonology since theories within this framework had been influenced by the opinions from generative linguistics. Chomsky and Halle (in Goldsmith, 1999 : 17-19) says that a speaker’s knowledge of his language includes knowing the lexical items of the terminology and each lexical entry must contain specified features, which determine the phonetic kind of the item in every contexts, i.e. the item’s phonological features. Furthermore, such phonological features are classificatory products, they are binary, as are all additional classificatory features in the lexicon, for by natural means of indicating whether something belongs to a specific category is through binary features.

There will get two levels of representations which will be talked about in the SPE framework; underlying representation (i.e. lexical or morphophonemic sequence) and the surface web form (i.e. phonetic result contact form). Given the authors’ purpose at maximizing the ‘simplicity’ of the grammar, it follows that underlying representations should be as abstract as practical and avoid redundant, or non-specific, features. Minimized fundamental representations are in fact a requirement to ensure the generality of the overall linguistic system.

Within this framework, we will examine the info set on the dialect of Kikuyu in the spirit of morphological research, overview on any possible alternation within the dataset, as well as identifying the fundamental representation (UR) from the given data set. Third , analysis, we will attempt to observe possible rules with feature notation of the granted data to get a generalized rule ordering within the data set. Because of this analysis, we also refer to the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) chart, specifically for the consonants chart and their features. Why don’t we try to analyze the data place from the morphological examination with the given info set below.

The data set of Kikuyu is listed below in table 1:

Imperative—1 sg.Imperfect–English Meaning

ßura——mbureet?——–‘lop off’

ßaara—–mbaareet?——-‘look at’










From table 1, we are able to see that there are two forms to observe, the one being Imperative and the various other being the 1-sg-Imperfect from data group of Kikuyu dialect, which is followed by its meaning in English. The table implies that for every single given word, different letters stay unchanged, which is typed in Bold inside word. Most of them seem to possess a Vowel and Consonant buy (VC) and an extended vowel a person (i.e. VVC) such as in ßaara. Furthermore, we are able to also see in the Essential column where all words are often ended with a, marked after a slash sign (-). Subsequently, what in the first singular Imperfect column will be always ended with an ‘eet?’, which can be separated by a slash (-). A complete data set analysis is given in desk 2 below.

Table 2

Imperative————-1 sg. Imperfect————English Translation

ßur – a——————–mbur – eet?———————-‘lop off’

ßaar- a——————–mbaar- eet?———————-‘look at’

t?m – a——————–nd?m – eet?———————-‘cut’

tom – a——————–ndom – eet?———————-‘send’

reh – a——————–ndeh – eet?———————-‘pay’

ru? – a——————–ndu? – eet?———————-‘cook’

cin – a——————–??in – eet?———————-‘burn’

kom – a——————–?gom – eet?———————-‘sleep’

ker – a——————–?ger – eet?———————-‘cross’

?or – a——————–?gor – eet?———————-‘buy’

?aj – a——————–?gaj – eet?———————-‘divide’

From table 2, we can look at that the unchanged letters, which are Bold typed above, will be the stems or could possibly be portion of the stems of the word in fundamental representation. Furthermore, we can also see suffixes, which show the Imperativeness or the offered words that happen to be signaled as the final letter ‘a’ at the final position of the term. From the regularity of the ultimate letters ‘eet?’, we can say that the presented words must be classified as suffixes indicating the 1 sg. Imperfect kind of Kikuyu dialect. We will go over the underlying kinds of the morphemes regularity in a separate discussion in a after part. Now why don’t we see the composition of the nasal audio which occurs before the stems.

It is conceivable an alternation is defined as a morpheme, which includes two different sound styles, that can be analyzed by a phonological procedure. From the data group of Kikuyu, the some alternations can be noticed as indicated in the next table (see table 3). The alternations can be identified easily for the reason that ß becomes b; t /r turns into d; c becomes ?; k / ? becomes g. Those alternations may very well be the alternations in the words of Kikuyu whose phonological procedure will come to be explored in guidelines.

Table 3

Imperative————1 sg. Imperfect

In a.b.ß————————-mb

In c.d.t————————-nd

In e.f.r————————-nd

In g.c—————————??

In h. my spouse and i. k———————–?g

In j. k. ?———————–?g

Furthermore, we can also see that a nasal consonant is usually inserted before the altered consonant, e.g. m; n; ? and ?, which suggests that the morphological method goes along with the phonological process. Such insertion shows us essential points for the data set in the dialect of Kikuyu. We will go over such phenomenon in greater concern in later component. However, there is one thing to say about this phenomenon in the insertion of nasal consonant in the 1 sg. Imperfect groups could possibly be analyzed as selected prefixes embedded which might communicate the tense of a verb. Whenever the alternation can be constructed in an opposite method, i.e. b turns into ß in info set, this lead to an ill formed engineering. Such a case is also falsifiable from data h. and j. in which ?g would become k and ? respectively following the case. Consequently, we will consider the sequence of alternation as from Vital to 1 sg. Imperfect. The reanalysis of the stems of both varieties is illustrated in table 4 down below. Both prefixes (nasals) and suffixes (- a and – eet?) happen to be discarded in table 4 in order that we are able to get the stem of each verb.

Table 4.

Imperative————–1 sg. Imperfect————–English Meaning

ßur———————bur——————————-‘lop off’

ßaar——————–baar——————————‘look at’










What we’ve observed up to now indicates that phonological parts are obtained by mapping from the underlying representation (UR) to the top (phonetic) representation (SR). This mapping phenomenon could be observed by rewrite rules which is discussed in a separate part. Put simply, the data group of Kikuyu we have so far could be considered as the Surface Representation. In the following paragraphs, we attempt to identify the underlying representation of the Kikuyu vocabulary.

As noted above, we’ve found that the unchanged letters in desk 2 could be analyzed as the stems or section of the stems of the words in the underlying representation. Based on minimization of the underlying representation we will attempt to rule in the consonant before the unchanged letters because it seems to become implausible to predict the consonants such as ß, t, r, c, k, ? by guideline. Furthermore, we have as well noticed that the consonant ß can change to b not the vice versa. Referring to the SPE theory, minimizing the underlying representation signifies that anything, which may be predicted by a guideline, ought to be eliminated from the underlying representation. For instance, the shifting from ß to b can be viewed in desk 4 which is certainly exemplified by the shifting is usually from ßur to bur. Such process likewise applies to all other words in the data set. By definition, we’re able to get something similar to /ßur/ to come to be the actual stem for underlying representation of the term, which means ‘lop off’ in Kikuyu. The stems in underlying representation in the data set are shown in table 5 underneath and the Fundamental Representations for the Imperative and 1 sg. Imperfect are represented in desk 6.

Table 5

UR Stem English Meaning


‘lop off’

/ßaar/ ‘look at’

/t?m/ ‘cut’

/tom/ ‘send’

/reh/ ‘pay’

/ru?/ ‘cook’

/cin/ ‘burn’

/kom/ ‘sleep’

/ker/ ‘cross’

/?or/ ‘buy’

/?aj/ ‘divide’

Table 6

Imperative UR 1 sg. Imperfect UR English Meaning

/ßur – a/ /Nas – bur -eet ‘lop off’

/ßaar – a/ /Nas – baar-eet ‘look at’

/t?m – a/ /Nas – d?m -eet ‘cut’

/tom – a/ /Nas – dom -eet ‘send’

/reh – a/ /Nas – deh -eet ‘pay’

/ru? – a/ /Nas – du? -eet ‘cook’

/cin – a/ /Nas – ?in -eet ‘burn’

/kom – a/ /Nas – gom -eet ‘sleep’

/ker – a/ /Nas – ger -eet ‘cross’

/?or – a/ /Nas – gor -eet ‘buy’

/?aj – a/ /Nas – gaj -eet ‘divide’

In the framework of SPE, we have been familiar with the terms such as abbreviatory conventions, conciseness, Minimize UR, Rule format and Evaluation actions, etc. They’ll be considered right here under IPA consonant chart and show table where relevant data is given in table 7 below:

Table 7

(Imp = Crucial) (1sg = 1 sg. Imperfect)

Group A (data a. b.)

ß – bilabial fricative (Imp)

b – bilabial plosive (1sg)

m – bilabial nasal (1sg)

Group B (info c. d. e. f.)

t – alveolar plosive (Imp)

r – alveolar fricative (Imp)

d – alveolar plosive (1sg)

n – alveolar nasal (1sg)

Group C (info g.)

c – palatal plosive (Imp)

? – palatal plosive (1sg)

? – palatal nasal (1sg)

Group D (data h. we. j. k.)

k – velar plosive (Imp)

? – velar fricative (Imp)

g – velar plosive (1sg)

? – velar nasal (1sg)

From the distribution in table 7, we can draw some important information in the surface level. In Essential classification (Imp), we can discover that the fricatives happen to be plosives whereas in (1sg) group, we only observe the plosives kinds. This observation is helpful for arriving at the deduction that under certain environment, fricatives/plosives happen to be interpreted as (à) plosives. Furthermore, within each group, we are able to identify that the same place of articulation is definitely shared, i.e., bilabial / alveolar / palatal / velar. This observation will contribute to identify the relation between your transformed consonants and the added nasal sound types.

In the mean period, within each ‘1sg’ group, we can also discover that the nasal sound usually precedes the plosive sound. This observation is useful for understanding if the prefix [Nasal] functions will be in a linear purchase. By applying the minimized major feature for these consonants, we are able to generate some crucial characteristic notations as noted below.

1. Fricatives [-son, +cont]

2. Plosives [-son, -cont]

3. Nasals [+child, -cont]

Therefore, now we can observe the assimilation of the feature [cont] throughout transferring from fricatives to plosives and most likely the dissimilation of the feature [boy] between nasals and plosives. So that you can satisfy the circumstances of Minimize UR and the Analysis measure, we could observe each sound at length and add the characteristic [voice] where we are able to see that all plosives and nasals happen to be [+voiced] as illustrated in table 8 below.

Table 8

Features – consonant Features-place of articulation

Group A (info a. b.)

ß – [-boy] [+cont] [+voiced] (Imp) [+ant] [-cor]

b – [-son] [-cont] [+voiced] (1sg) [+ant] [-cor]

m – [+child] [-cont] [+voiced] (1sg) [+ant] [-cor]

Group B (info c. d. e. f.)

t – [-boy] [-cont] [-voiced]

(Imp) [+ant how to write a quote in an essay] [+cor]

r – [+son] [+cont] [+voiced] (Imp) [+ant] [+cor]

d – [-boy] [-cont] [+voiced] (1sg) [+ant] [+cor]

n – [+son] [-cont] [+voiced] (1sg) [+ant] [+cor]

Group C (data g.)

c – [-child] [-cont] [-voiced] (Imp) [-ant] [+cor]

? – [-child] [-cont] [+voiced] (1sg) [-ant] [+cor]

? – [+child] [-cont] [+voiced] (1sg) [-ant] [+cor]

Group D (data h. i actually. j. k.)

k – [-son] [-cont] [-voiced] (Imp) [-ant] [-cor]

? – [-boy] [+cont] [+voiced] (Imp) [-ant] [-cor]

g – [-son] [-cont] [+voiced] (1sg) [-ant] [-cor]

? – [+son] [-cont] [+voiced] (1sg) [-ant] [-cor]

From the features distribution above, we are able to observe a number of important generalizations. First, as we are able to see in the left column, consonants could change themselves to the nasal during the shifting to plosive by preserving [-cont] and [+voiced]. After that, the consonant r in Group B is the sole consonant in Imp which has feature [+son], therefore, we need to shift it to become [-son] as well in the course of shifting to plosive. Nevertheless, this is unquestionably not a kind of adjustment to the nasal since it is conceivable that all nasals are found to be [+son].

Second, in the right column, we can observe that the insertions of prefixing nasals adapt themselves to the consonants and be bilabial / alveolar / palatal / velar nasal respectively in place of articulation. Furthermore, we attempt to figure out the modifications above as assimilation, along with the "dis-adjustment" of r as dissimilation. In sum, we can obtain two important guidelines in the language involved.

Rule A:


[+cons] à [+voice]/[+nas] ______


Such guideline entails the adjustment of the consonants to the nasals. Under this rule, ß becomes b; t and r becomes d; c becomes ?; k and ? becomes g as a result of prefixing nasal. Then, all fricatives become plosives as given the following rule.

Rule B:

[+nas] à [aPlace]/______[aPlace]

In guideline B, the same place of articulation is certainly construed by the notation [aPlace] signifies here. This guideline signals the adjustment of the nasals to the consonants. By using this rule, nasal will become m whenever aPlace is certainly bilabial; n whenever aPlace is usually alveolar; ? whenever aPlace is definitely palatal and ? whenever aPlace can be velar. The foundation nasal in prefixing can’t be observed from the provided data set. For instance, if it is [+nas, +cor] then it should be a consonant ‘n’.

Along the previous part, we’ve observed some ordering rules in the terminology of Kikuyu. Further more in this portion, we will try to determine the ordering of the two rules we’ve mentioned in advance. Predicated on the SPE framework, we have seen that morphological guidelines apply before all phonological guidelines. Although Kiparsky and many others believe the other method against this framework, we make an effort to see whether this rule is indeed workable within the spirit of SPE framework.

Here, the morphological guidelines are viewed as infix insertion, i actually.e. prefix /Nas/; suffix /-a/ and /-eet?/ in the given data place which will apply to begin with and the phonological guidelines given in Rule A good and Rule B over will apply in the next place. Now the problem turns to which phonological rule applies in first purchase, being Rule A or Guideline B. Suppose we have examples in data d and e from the given data set. First, let us look at data d. it seems that we won’t discover any difference in info d with regards to the ordering of two rules and hence the result appears like the same. Then, try to compare with data e. Let see what happens.

Table 9

Data d = from [toma] to [ndomeet?]

If Rule A precedes Rule B

Morphological Rule /Nas/ + /tom/ + /eet?/ =UR

Rule A /Nas/ + /dom/ + /eet?/

Rule B /n/ + /dom/ + /eet?/ =SR

If Rule B precedes Rule A

Morphological Guideline /Nas/ + /tom/ + /eet?/ =UR

Rule B

/n/ + /tom/ + /eet?/

Rule A /n/ + /dom/ + /eet?/ =SR

Data e. from [reha] to [ndeheet?]

If Rule A good precedes Rule B

Morphological Rule /Nas/ + /reh/ + /eet?/ =UR

Rule A /Nas/ + /deh/ + /eet?/

Rule B /n/ + /deh/ + /eet?/ =SR

If Rule B precedes Rule A

Morphological Rule /Nas/ + /reh/ + /eet?/ =UR

Rule B /n/ + /reh/ + /eet?/

Rule A /n/ + /deh/ + /eet?/ =SR

As we are able to see above, the assessment between data d and e indicates a similar thing for ordering of two rules aswell. This suggests that the ordering of guidelines don’t have something to do with the effect. It further suggests that the nasals and the derived consonants could have a comparatively strong connection with one another, i.e. one co-exists with the different.

Within the SPE framework, the info set possesses been analyzed in the type of features of lexical specific segments. We tried to apply the rules we’ve and they seems to work effectively. This gives even more indication that the SPE framework can be considered as effective tool in explaining the phenomenon in info set of Kikuyu language. On the other hand, it seems that the relationship between your two rules isn’t transparent. The reason for this might be the difficulty in generating the only person rule rather than two explaining such phenomenon in the SPE framework.

The Post-SPE Framework

Autosegmental phonology was released by John Goldsmith (1976) and re presented an excellent step of progress in linguistic research. In the classical generative theory developed by Chomsky and Halle, phonological elements had been linear sequences of segments which themselves consisted of feature bundles. One of many downfalls of the

SPE framework resided in the assumption that each segment had to match exactly one characteristic specification and vice-versa (every feature specification had to correspond to accurately one segment). Consequently, various phonological phenomena (related to pressure, lengthening, rhythm and intonation for instance) were left unexplained.

SPE simply had no chance of providing an effective profile of prosodic phenomena. As stated by Goldsmith himself ((1999: p.137), "Autosegmental phonology takes its particular claim about the geometry of phonetic and phonological representations. it shows that the phonetic representation comprises a set of several simultaneous sequences of these segments, with particular elementary constraints about how the various levels of sequences can be interrelated or ‘associated’. The main innovation brought about by Post-SPE framework is the simple fact that supra segmental features, such as anxiety or tone, are no more confined to precisely one segment but can be shared by several segments and vice-versa. Some features, while remaining connected with a segment, are actually handled separately. Many phonological phenomena may then be analyzed when it comes to a restructuring or reorganization of the autosegments in a representation.

Different from the first section, right here we will analyze the info set of Kikuyu within the Post-SPE framework, or also known as the Autosegmental Phonology but within this paper we rather utilize the term Post SPE just for the sake of easiness compared. In this section, we may also consider the use of the IPA chart and show notations for the dialogue in the Post-SPE framework. Also in this component we may still view some rules from SPE framework and you will be examined in the spirit of Post-SPE framework. Phenomenon such as for example assimilation and dissimilation will come to be approached to address the problems we found in the data group of Kikuyu Language. Of study course, various other theories within the Post-SPE may also be introduced. Why don’t we start our conversation with the identification of features and spreading in this framework.

In this framework, features will be viewed as independent top features of their segments in order for them to become represented as auto-segments. We can observe in the info set of Kikuyu language a phonological procedure can influence more than one consonant at a time. This might lead us to examine the data we had in desk 3 where ß – mb; t – nd; r – nd; c – ??; k – ?g; ? – ?g, with the provided two rules. We have mentioned earlier about assimilation in SPE, my spouse and i.e. an alternation which copies an attribute specification from the closest segment. Take Group A and Rule B as an example:

[+nas]à [bila Place] / ______ [bila Place]

Nà m / ______ ß / b

In the Post-SPE framework, assimilation is discovered as the spreading of features to the neighbouring X-slots. This ensures that an X-slot is linked to the two X-slots, resulting assimilation as illustrated below:


|à¥|à¥| [+ant][+ant] [+ant]

[-cor] [-cor] [-cor]

For the sake of easiness, some tiers are excluded. Right here, X represents the adjusted consonant in Kikuyu. The nasal is known as another X slot, which can be marked as N. After spreading, we discover that both X-slots share the feature of [+ant] and [-cor]. The feature from the neighboring X-slot could possibly be deleted after the span of spreading. The substitution of Rule A in the Content SPE framework is somewhat more complicated than Guideline B since deletion is normally involved. As for example, consider Group A we’ve noted above, within the SPE framework, we are certain to get the shifting below.

[+cons]à [-cont] [+voice] [-child] / [+nas]______

ßà b / N______

Then, why don’t we apply this within the Content SPE framework to analyze this phenomenon where we have two X-slot machine games symbolize Nasal and Consonant respectively during

the span of alternation. An example of shifting from Nß to Nb is given below.


| | à | /

[+son] [-son] [+boy] [-son]

[-cont] [+cont] [-cont] [-cont]

[+voiced] [+voiced] [+voiced] [+voiced]

For the sake of easiness, some tiers will be reduced. We can find in the shifting process that [-son, +voiced] features will be preserved through the shifting and [+cont] feature turns into [-cont]. In the SPE framework, it really is conceivable that morphological rules apply before phonological rules, so we have a Nasal slot before Consonant slot in 1 sg. Imperfect in Kikuyu. When we analyze further more in the Post SPE framework through the shifting, [+son and -child] features reduces to [-boy], then [cont and tone of voice] features change to [-cont, +voiced]. This implies assimilation to the nasal characteristic. All consonants following nasal remain [-cont, +voiced] but that is still regarded as process of assimilation. As a result, the same host to articulation of nasal adapting to the following consonant is considered an activity of assimilation.

Different from assimilation, let us discuss about the dissimilation in the granted info set for the feature [son]. In table 3, we have seen that in info e and f, r becomes nd. The examination under Post-SPE is determined in the next diagram.

ràN + ràN + ràN + dànd


|à| |à| -| /

[+son][+son] [+child][+son] [+son][+son] [-boy]

[+cont][-cont] [+cont][-cont] [+cont][-cont] [-cont]

[+voiced] [+voiced][+voiced] [+voiced][+voiced] [+voiced][+voiced]

In the above diagram, we have reduced some tiers with regard to easiness. When the lines will be associated, the range behind X is deleted, which is normally marked as (-). This result the removal of the feature [+cont] [+voiced] and the slot receives latest features from features beneath the N (nasal) slot. On the other hand, we see that characteristic [+son] becomes [-son] during the course of shifting. Therefore, this leads to an assimilation procedure towards nasal audio since nasal audio is [+son] and all the consonants do not change their [-child] features. That is problematical. Therefore, we would approach it within the spirit of "Geometry of Phonological Features" by Clement. He shows that there happen to be three types of assimilation; total, partial and single-feature, relying substantially on the position of the spreading aspect in the tiers. We look at that [boy] and [cont] generate on a single tier, i.e. method tier. Subsequently, classifying this phenomenon as partial and sole feature assimilation appears to be implausible since the assimilation of the data set has involved several feature. It seems that dissimilation with such theory can’t be preserved. Now why don’t we try to take into account the phenomenon with the X theory. Consider the next diagram with a good example the term ßura in data a.

Data a:

s s hierarchical syllable structure

/ | / |

/R / R (Rhyme)

/ | / |

ON ON (Onset – Nucleus – Coda)

| | | |

XX XX skeleton (no characteristic [±syllabic] in X theory)

| | | |

ßu ra autosegmental features

The two segments such as for example nasal and plosive behave like as if one segment. These segments can be considered as pre-nasalized consonants which might be marked in other styles. Similar phenomenon may also be found in other languages such as for example Bantu language. Regarding Kikuyu, it appear to end up being implausible for such a language to have a Nasal+Consonant (NC) cluster in 1 sg. Imperfect being truly a prenasalized consonant. Because the NC in the info set of Kikuyu is really one X-slot it appears to end up being generalizeable that such a dialect will not allow two [+son] in one slot and one of these has to go [-boy], which is in this instance the consonant one. Basically, in NC cluster nasal audio is pronounced with [+child] and NC discuss the same [-cont, +voiced] features. Further, upon this issue, we may have to address such phenomenon with another theory, which continues to be in the spirit of content SPE, i.e. the Mora theory

The discussion within this process might give better understanding on the phenomena of mono segmental NC cluster. In Mora theory, on the other hand, it seems to be more difficult to propose additional evaluation on the given data for the changes, which were involved in the language of Kikuyu. In this theory, an starting point is what could be able to be changing in this language since an starting point consonant is definitely irrelevant to mora as a result of absence of weight. It could be arguable that because the onset consonants usually do not count for timing (Van Oostendorp), the slot might just become one slot for the NC sounds instead of two slot machines for such a terminology. Consider the diagram below, which can suggest the first step of morphological alternation within the Mora theory.

s… s… s…

/ | // | /|

/µ à // µ or /µ

/ | // | /|


ß u Nßu Nßu

Within this section, we try to take into account the occurrence of spreading and assimilation within the Post-SPE framework. Certain phenomenon, which used to be a little complicated to explain beneath the earlier framework of phonological representations, is getting a lot more revealed if we make an effort to observe any phenomena from the perspective of the Post SPE framework. The observation on the phenomenon of the Kikuyu data set seems to be better described under the latest theory yet the nature of the info set ought to be preserved in that good way, as Goldsmith proposes.


So far, we have tried to account for the phenomenon of Kikuyu dialect within the two frameworks, i.e. SPE and Post SPE. We have noticed both strengths and weaknesses. By and large, the main difference between your two frameworks, SPE and Post SPE is certainly that in SPE, data set of Kikuyu is usually analyzed within segmental level whereas in the later framework, the data set is analyzed in an auto-segmental level, hence it really is called Autosegmental phonology. Additional distinctions can also be captured within the notion of assimilation. In SPE framework, assimilation is construed as sort of copying process whereas in the down the road framework, assimilation is usually analyzed as spreading. Furthermore, in SPE we seems to have one-to-one which is defined as mapping whereas the in the future framework, the X job can be connected with zero, be it one or two autosegments.

In the SPE framework, we obtain the underlying representations based on the features analysis in which at the later level, we’re able to generate two guidelines to signify the phenomenon of shifting in Kikuyu data set. In the later framework, we usually do not deal with rules, rather spreading of association lines and assimilation to account for the problem are participating. When we try to incorporate the two guidelines in SPE framework into a unitary spreading in the content SPE framework, some obstacles such as for example dissimilation of [son] could possibly be encountered. We tried to propose some possible solutions to the problem involved; however, we seem to have some remaining problems. For instance, when we try to propose one assumption of mono-segment rather than bi-segment for NC cluster within the Post SPE framework, but still there are a few questions left.

In summary, both frameworks have got their individual strengths and weaknesses. In the SPE framework, we discovered that the rules are believed as well explained to manage the given phenomenon. On the other hand, this framework is still struggling to reveal the inner romance among the changing components in Kikuyu. In the down the road framework, the examination is pretty much closer to the inner relationship but we discover that there some exceptions that require to be looked at. If we have to choose, we would say that the Post SPE framework seems to be much more helpful than that of the earliest framework irrespective some exceptions exist. Following Goldsmith, the Content SPE framework contributes greater in figuring out the type of Kikuyu language than the first one since it could approach some circumstances of Kikuyu words better.


Chomsky, N. and M. Halle (1968). "Phonetic and Phonological Representation". In

Goldsmith (1999): Phonological Theory: THE FUNDAMENTAL Readings. Blackwell Publishers(pp.17-21).

Chomsky, N. and M. Halle (1976). The Audio Pattern of English. New York: Harper and Row.

Clements, G.N. and S.J. Keyser (1983). CV Phonology: A Generative Theory of the Syllable.

Cambridge: MIT Press. Van Oostendorp, M (2005). Mora Theory. p1-8

Goldsmith (1999): Phonological Theory: The Essential Readings. Blackwell Publishers.

Goldsmith, J. (1976). A SYNOPSIS of Autosegmental Phonology. Phonological Theory: The Essential Readings. Blackwell Publishers.

Class Handouts

Session 1 – Classical Generative Phonology (2008.Sept.12)

Session 2 – Overview of standard features (2008.Sept.19)

Session 4 – Autosegmental phonology I – features (2008.Oct.3)

Session 5 – Autosegmental phonology II – the CV skeleton (2008.Oct.10)

Session 6 – Autosegmental phonology III – the mora (2008.Oct.17)

None found.

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