Lexical and functional decomposition in syntax: A view from phonology
Selected contents from this journal
Languages of publication
In recent years many lexical elements in the syntactic tree have been decomposed into formal features forming part of the functional sequence. This paper explores the effects of this change on the syntax-phonology interface, addressing two problems for language modularity and proposing that the Lexicon be the locus of communication between the two modules. The first issue is the sensitivity of prosody to edges of syntactic constituents and to lexical elements and projections but not to functional ones (cf. Selkirk 1995; Truckenbrodt 1999, 2007 inter alia). Lexicon subcategorisation is offered as the solution (cf. Bye 2006; Paster 2005). The second issue is the prosodic marking of Information Structure. In Prosodic Phonology, constraints (Align-F, Stress-Focus) "see" these syntactic features, which is undesirable if modularity is to be maintained. This paper uses the Nanosyntactic view that features are merged into the tree individually, and suggests that Lexical entries for e.g. F and CT features in English are suprasegmental affixes pairing a H* tone with F feature or a L+H*L-H% contour with a CT feature.
Publication order reference