2010 | 46 | 4 | 499-518
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Phonology in the Speech Signal - Unifying cue and Prosodic Licensing

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This paper is offered in commemoration of Prof. Edmund Gussmann, who passed away sadly and unexpectedly just a few short weeks before the 41st Poznań Linguistic Meeting, where the paper was presented. The PLM session, Competing Explanations in Phonology, was the type of gathering at which Prof. Gussmann would thrive, advancing his strong theoretical position that phonetics is irrelevant for phonological theory (Gussmann 2004). Prof. Gussmann argued for this view in an animated and sometimes provocative manner, but he always did so with charm and good nature. My own views on the role of speech in phonology differ sharply from Prof. Gussmann's. I am nevertheless quite grateful for his perspective, which has indeed changed the way I think of speech. Under the influence of Government Phonology, I have adopted a phonological view of the acoustic signal, which seeks to challenge phoneticians with new hypotheses about the way speech interacts with grammar. This paper explicates this perspective, and applies it to a recent case, cue vs. prosodic licensing, in which "phonetic" and "phonological" explanations seemed to be at an impasse. Thanks in part to Prof. Gussmann's strong theoretical position, I have developed a new theory of constituency that offers a vehicle with which we may reconcile competing views on the underpinnings of phonological licensing.
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  • Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań
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