Phonological analysis in typed feature systems

Steven Bird, Ewan Klein

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Research on constraint-based grammar frameworks has focused on syntax and semantics largely to the exclusion of phonology. Likewise, current developments in phonology have generally ignored the technical and linguistic innovations available in these frameworks. In this paper we suggest some strategies for reuniting phonology and the rest of grammar in the context of a uniform constraint formalism. We explain why this is a desirable goal, and we present some conservative extensions to current practice in computational linguistics and in nonlinear phonology that we believe are necessary and sufficient for achieving this goal.We begin by exploring the application of typed feature logic to phonology and propose a system of prosodic types. Next, taking HPSG as an exemplar of the grammar frameworks we have in mind, we show how the phonology attribute can be enriched so that it can encode multi-tiered, hierarchical phonological representations. Finally, we exemplify the approach in some detail for the nonconcatenative morphology of Sierra Miwok and for schwa alternation in French. The approach taken in this paper lends itself particularly well to capturing phonological generalizations in terms of high-level prosodic constraints.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)455-491
Number of pages37
JournalComputational Linguistics
Publication statusPublished - Sept 1994
Externally publishedYes


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