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Phonology I Exam

December 6, 2009
Liyuan Wang

1) Analyzing the words into their constituent morphemes,
a) Identify the alternating phonetic shapes of each morpheme,
b) Propose a unique phonetic shapes of each morpheme,

The alternating shapes of the inflectional morphemes are listed in the following chart,

Proposed Underlying
Suffixes Alternating Phonetic Shapes
Passive w w
Neuter ik, ek ik
Applied il, el il
Reciprocal an an

The forms of other morphemes are listed below,

čit kos kak

tul las im
čet mas pum
soŋk šik men
pat fuk pon
fis sek ŋaŋ
čes pok

1) State the rule necessary for the surface forms in prose

a. Rule for the surface presentation of applied and neuter form of this language
Rule I: Vowel lowering (vowel harmony), the high, front vowel is lowered preceded by a
non-high vowel, that is, [i] changed to [e] when there are [e], and [o] in the syllable that
precedes it. This rule accounts for the alternation of all the ik and ek suffix.
b. Rule II: Rule for the form variation in stems, Palatalization, “k” and “s” become
palatalized followed by “i”, as in fisa, when the suffix ik is added, s becomes palatalized,
̌ .
hence the form fisika
c. Rule III: “l” becomes “n” when preceded by a nasal, as in ima becomes imina rather than

1) State the rules necessary to account for the surface forms in using distinctive features,

+high -high
-low -low
-back [-high]/ -cons
+ATR +ATR C0_____________

-vce +high +high
αant -low
αcont  -ant -back
-cor -round
-constr -αdelrel -cons
-low -back __________ +ATR

+cor -lateral
+ant  +cor
+cons +nasal [+nasal]V_________

2) Order the rule as needed

Vowel lowering happens before palatalization. If palatalization happens first, more
sounds could be palatalized. For example, as in soŋka, and fisa. Palatalization never
happens in soŋkela because vowe llowering happens first. Had vowel lowering haven’t
happened in the first when the underlying ila form is added, palatalization would have
already changed the form to sonc̆ila, rather than soŋkela. Similarly, fisa has no condition
for vowel lowering, it retains its original ila form when the suffixes is added, which
provides environment for palatalization to happen.
RuleIII has no obvious feeding or bleeding relationships with relation to the previous

soŋka fisa
Vowel Lowering soŋkela \
Palatalization \ fis̆ila

3) Vowel lowering bleeds palatalization, because of the fact that the application of rule 1
damages the environment for rule 2 to happen.
4) Provide derivations for fis̆ika, koseka, and menena
The roots of the three words are fis, kos, and men. In the formation of their different
forms, suffixes are added accordingly. Fis is added the neuter suffix, becoming fisika.
Since there is no environment for vowel lowering, s becomes palatalized, forming fis̆ika.
Kos was added the applied suffix ika, changing to kosika. With o in its previous syllable,
vowel lowering happens first, changing the word to koseka, which blocks the application
of palatalization.
Men was added ana
fis kos men
Vowel Lowering \ koseka menena
Palatalization fis̆ika \ \


A. Biscayan dialect

The definite suffix in Biscayan is “a”

(1) Device a rule for glide insertion

Glide insertion: Glides are inserted after a high front vowel, which immediately
followed by another vowel. In our data, the changes are: ∅ → y / i____V, and ∅ → w /
In features,
∅ → -ant +syll
+dorsal +high
+high -cons
αback αback
αround αround ____ V

(2) Device a rule for the alternation of [a] and [e],

Low vowel assimilation: [a] changes to [e] when preceded by a high vowel, in features,

-high -high -cons

-cons -cons
+low → -low +high
-cons -back
-ATR +ATR -low C0_______

(3) Order the rules in terms of “bleeding ” and “feeding” relations,

Aside from the glide insertion and the [a] to [e] changes, there’s another phonological
rule that applies here, accounting for the changes in 8. ate to atie and 9. asto to astue,
namely, vowel raising. In prose, low vowels becomes minus low when followed by a
low vowel.

-cons -cons
→ [+high]
–low ______ +low

In terms of ordering, glide insertion happens first, then vowel raising, and lastly, low
vowel assimilation. For example, the formation of ate when the suffix a is added,
becoming atea.
Atea does not provide an applicable environment for glide insertion; so it directly
undergoes mid vowel raising, becoming atia. This procedure provides a high vowel
precede the final a, which satisfies the environment for low vowel assimilation, changing
atia to atie. That is, glide insertion and vowel raising is in a counter feeding relation.
Flipping the two rules, had vowel raising happens first, atia would provide a possible
environment for glide insertion, and the word would become atije, rather than atie.

And vowel raising is in a feeding relationship with low vowel assimilation. As the
previous example illustrated, atia provides a high vowel [i], which is the environment for
the [a] to [e] change.

According to the Biscayan data, there’s no apparent relationship between glide insertion
and low vowel assimilation. In the same example, mendia could undergo low vowel
assimilation first, becoming mendie, which still provides environment for glide insertion
to happen. And the form should still be mendije.

A. Baztan dialect

In this dialect, the major difference is that mid vowel raising happens after final vowel
assimilation. And there is no indication in the data of the existence of glide insertion.


Underlying forms

bukas bilih ganap

kapit dipah putol
tubos poloh atip
opos puyoh talab
posod banig tanim
batah damit laman
Rules and rule ordering

Rule1, syncope—a vowel is deleted if it is not in a consonant cluster at the beginning or the end
of a syllable. For example, bukas wouldn’t become bkas or buks; but /bukas-in/ would
become /buksin/.

In features,

V→ ∅/VC__CV,
[-cons] →∅/ [-cons] [+cons]__ [+cons] [-cons]

Rule 2, raising of [o]—[o] is raised to [u] when followed by a consonant cluster, polo becomes
posod beomes posd after the application of rule 1, which obliterates the vowel, forming a vowel
cluster sd. And the form becomes pusd.
In features,

-low → [+high]/__CC


Rule 3, deletion of [h]—[h] is deleted at the end of a word. This happens in bilih, dipah, poloh,

[h] →∅/__]word
+contin →∅/__]word

Rule4, assimilation of [n]—the place of articulation of [n] is assimilated to its following

consonant, as in banig, after the vowel deletion, which changes the word to bang, n takes the
same place of articulation of g, becomes ŋ, hence the form baŋg-

→ [αPOA]/____[ αPOA]
Rule5, metathesis—reverse the position of a labial and a coronal consonant when they are
immediately adjacent to each other. This happens in tamim, laman, etc.

V [+coronal] [+labial] V→V [+labial] [+coronal] V

1 2 3 4 1 3 2 4


Underlying forms

First person singular: n

Second person singular masculine: m
Second person singular feminine: i
Third person singular masculine: u
Third person singular feminine: a
Second person plural: ŋ
Past tense: -n
Modal word must: -l


ham- bəl-
se:n- ŋaf-
kol- har-
cəːr- ʔas-
gun- ʔap-

Rule 1, epenthetic rule. An epenthetic vowel is inserted when a consonantal suffix is added to the
root. The constraint is that the epentic vowel is always –long.

∅→Va/ CaVaCb__Cc

In ham-, the same [a] as in the root is inserted when the consonantal suffixes [m] and [n] are
added, changing the form to hama-n, and hama-m

Rule 2, height harmony, a [–high] vowel in the root is raised whenever there is a [+high] vowel
in the suffix

-cons -cons
-high +high
In kol-, the middle vowel [o] is raised when the high vowel suffixes [i] and [u] are added, as in
kol-u. Both the middle o are raised because of the +high feature of [i] and [u], changing to kul-i,
and kul-u.

Rule 3, fronting and raising of the long [ə]in the root, the long vowels in the roots are either
fronted or rounded with relation to the features of their suffix vowels. If the suffix vowel is
[+round], the root vowel becomes [+round], if [-back], then [-back].
+back αround αround
+high → αlong α-back
+long α-back C0_____ C0 -cons
In cə: r- , the ə is rounded when followed by a vowel suffix with +round feature, changing from
cə: r-u to cu: r-u. When the root is followed by the front vowel [i], the ə took the feature of i,
changing to ci:r-i.

Rule4, [a] to [ə], in a CaCaC0 pattern, i.e. in a word with [a]being the only vowel in all of its
syllables, the [a] in the initial syllable changes to [ə]. This rule has to satisfy the condition that
the initial syllable should be only of Ca pattern, formed by a [-low] consonant with a [a]. And the
initial syllable couldn’t be of a V or CVC structure. In features,

-high # +cons
+back → [+high] -low
-low +voc ___$CV

Note, the +voc feature is added is because according to our data, all the initial consonants that is
related to the change are also +voc. This may subject to the further observation with more data.

This rule happens both in bə-pa, bəla-, and ŋəfa-, whose roots are ba-, bal-, and ŋal-. Since in all
the initial syllable of the roots are in a CV pattern, the initial a changes to ə.

In terms of relations, rule 1 and 2 has no obvious relationships, the same as rule 1 and 3.
However, rule 1, epenthetic rule provides a feeding environment for Rule 4[a] to [ə]change. For
example, in bal- ‘my head’, epenthetic happens when the consonantal suffix is added, changing
the word to bal-a-n. In turn, the changed bal-a provides environment for the application of rule
4, changing the word to bəla-n. And rule 1 has to happen before rule4.

Rule 2 and rule 3 have no obvious feeding and bleeding relationships too, so do rule 3 and rule 4.

The form cu:r-u, ʔ əs-i, and se:nem are derived as showed in the following chart,

root cə:r- ʔ as- se:n-

Rule 1, epenthetic rule \ \ se:n-e-m
Rule 2, height harmony \ ʔ əs-i \
Rule 3, fronting and cu:r-u \ \
Rule4, [a] to [ə] \ \ \
Specifically, in cu:r-u, the root should be cə:r-. When the 3 person masculine suffix “u:” is
added, the form becomes cə:r-u. Since u is a +high, _round vowel, and the middle vowel of the
root is the long ə, the environment required in rule3 is satisfied, ə: becomes u:, hence the form

For ʔ əs-i, the root formis ʔ as-, which changes to ʔ as-i when the second person singular suffix
i is added. Since i is a high vowel, and a is the root vowel, the environment for rule2 to happen
appears. And a is raised to ə

For se:nem, the metathesis rule happens. The root of the word is se:n-. When a consonantal
suffix –m is added, the word form becomes a CV:C-C pattern, i.e. se:n-m. And according to rule
1, the same V has to be added in order to satisfy the vowel harmony. Thus, the word becomes