Academic journal article Journal of Slavic Linguistics

From the Guest Editors

Academic journal article Journal of Slavic Linguistics

From the Guest Editors

Article excerpt

We are pleased to present to the readers of JSL a collection of six papers devoted to the phonology of Slavic languages. The papers discuss a number of theoretical issues in phonology, drawing on data from Polish and Russian.

Many revolutions in phonology, if not in linguistics in general, had their roots in the field of Slavic studies. Linguists such as Baudouin de Courtenay, Jerzy Kurylowicz, Roman Jakobson, and Morris Halle (have) worked on and were inspired by the richness of Slavic languages. Nowadays, however, phonology appears to be much less prominent within Slavic studies, yielding the false impression that everything has already been said about that topic. During the 2005 Formal Description of Slavic Linguistics (FDSL-6) meeting in Potsdam, only four out of fifty-five papers where connected to phonology. An examination of the articles which have appeared to date in ISL reveals that only a few have dealt with phonology.

The present issue of ISL is an attempt to reverse the trends described above. We summarize briefly the content of the six articles:

Bethin discusses the interaction of stress, duration, and tone in the archaic Vladimir-Volga Basin of Russian. She argues that the peculiar prosody of the archaic Vladimir-Volga Basin dialects is due to the presence of both stress and tone in their phonology. Pretonic duration is a consequence of mapping a high tone (H) and a pitch rise to the pitch peak in that syllable.

Cavar proposes that the feature used to capture vowel tenseness in the languages of the world (i.e., [ATR]) be extended to consonants as well. Evidence that vowels and consonants are marked for [ATR] comes from phonetically motivated phonotactic constraints in Polish. The author also reanalyzes various palatalization processes in Polish in terms of the feature [ATR] and shows the need for a new typology of palatalization processes.

Lubowicz discusses allomorph distribution in the locative of masculine and neuter nouns in Polish. The author shows that the locative allomorph distribution is opaque and is accounted for in terms of preserving contrast. The main idea is that the different allomorphs of the locative suffix keep apart forms which the regular phonology would otherwise neutralize.

Lukaszewicz and Opalinska investigate the issue of the abstractness of children's underlying representations, focusing in particular on the acquisition of the complex morphophonological system of Polish. …

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