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Vowel Features, Paired Variables, and the English Vowel Shift

William S-Y. Wang
Language
Vol. 44, No. 4 (Dec., 1968), pp. 695-708
DOI: 10.2307/411892
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/411892
Page Count: 14
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Vowel Features, Paired Variables, and the English Vowel Shift
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Abstract

In this study the use of variables for the abbreviation of disjunctive sets of phonological rules is examined. We ask whether there are rule sets which require more than one variable, and answer the question in the affirmative. The evidence consists of a new formulation of the English vowel-shift rule, using a pair of asymmetric features which distinguish four tongue heights for vowels. Within the context of the proposed rule, several theoretical issues concerning rule formalism and phonological change are discussed.

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