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Locality, Length and Licensing Domains:
[li::v] and [li:və] ('leave' and 'lever') map onto identical structure
 
Shanti Ulfsbjorninn
SOAS
 
 
 
 
New York and Southern British English present a process called overlength. In these linguistic varieties a long vowel will surfaces with extra elongation when preceding a ‘voiced’ consonant: [bi:t] ‘beat’, [bi::d] ‘bead’. Fascinatingly, this overlength disappears in CVCV word-domains: [li::v] ‘leave’, [li:və] ‘lever’.
 
Pöchtrager (2006) claims these two words would have different phonological structure, the so called: ‘bid’ and ‘libby’ domains.
 

In this paper, we will provide an alternative account of the loss of overlength in Southern British and New York English CVCV word domains. We will claim that [li::v] and [li:və] are structurally identical (the libby-domain). The difference in overlength is, in fact, a manifestation of the strict locality of m-command, which we claim operates within a licensing domain extrapolated by the location of the closest good licensor.