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English Phonology Without Underlying Glides

Description: This dissertation demonstrates that the optimal account of English phonology denies phonemic status to oral glides. That is, it shows that all instances of phonetic [y] and [w] are predictable by rule. These occurrences include the following: formative initial glides, such as those in yet and wet; post-consonant, pre-vocalic [w] in such forms as quit, guava, and white and post-consonant, pre-vocalic [y] in such forms as cute, few, million, onion, and champion; the [y] following the tense vowels in bite, beet, bate, and boy and the [w] following the tense vowels in bout, boot, boat, cute, and few; and, finally, the post-vocalic centering glide [h] in spa, cloth, beer [bihr], and bear. The new proposals, described and justified in Chapter III, have the effect of eliminating the glides [y] and [w] from the inventory of underlying phonemes of English. From this flows what is perhaps more significant: they render the feature [Syllabic] completely redundant in the lexical representations of English formatives.
Date: May 1979
Creator: Leath, Helen Lang
Partner: UNT Libraries