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                                                 GP 2.0

Jonathan Kaye
Gorizia, Italy

Markus A. Pöchtrager
Bogazici Universitesi, Istanbul, Turkey

In this talk we will present some key assumptions of our reasearch into an improved version of Government Phonology and the implications of those assumptions. In particular, we will argue that structural issues are of bigger importance in phonology than thought so far. This idea has been around for a while and has been worked out to varying degrees: Jensen (1994) argued that the stop element (?) should be replaced by a particular structural configuration, making objects containing former ? (e. g. stops) structurally bigger than those without (e. g. fricatives). Bachmaier, Kaye & Pöchtrager (2004) and Pöchtrager (2006) implemented that proposal as well as the idea that the element H must rather be understood as structural (with English t being the bigger version of d etc.). The same seems to be true of A: In English, a long vowel can only be followed by a coda-onset cluster if both members of the cluster contain A (with basically all of the exceptions to this involving s). A can license more complex structures, which is one (of the many) reason(s) suggesting that A itself is a structural configuration.
     The common denominator of all this is of course a movement away from melody and towards more (and more sophisticated) structure. How does the remaining set of elements (U, I, L) fit into all this? We will argue that structural relationships are also necessary to understand the individual character of U, I and L. Asymmetries between I and U have been noticed since the beginning of element theory, e.g. English having a diphthong oi (U in the first member, I in the second) but no *eu (I in the first member, U in the second). What is becoming clear now is that such asymmetries have structural reasons; particular (combinations of) elements can only occur in certain positions, they can only be arranged in certain configurations with respect to each other. All this makes clear that we can only arrive at an understanding of element behaviour by paying attention to their structural needs.

References
   Bachmaier, Reinhard, Jonathan Kaye & Markus A. Pöchtrager (2004): Stop Glottals! Phonology without ?. Talk given at Looking for Generalisations. A Workshop on the Representation of Consonants, University of Leiden, 3 December 2004.
   Jensen, Sean (1994): Is ? an Element? Towards a Non-segmental Phonology. SOAS Working Papers in Linguistics & Phonetics 4. 71–78.
   Pöchtrager, Markus Alexander (2006): The Structure of Length. PhD dissertation, University of Vienna.