Visions and Revisions

Studies in Theoretical and Applied Linguistics

by Przemysław Łozowski (Volume editor) Katarzyna Stadnik (Volume editor)
©2016 Edited Collection 251 Pages
Series: Lodz Studies in Language, Volume 44


The papers reflect on «visions» and «revisions» of selected theoretical and applied linguistic issues. Methodologically, they all reflect and contribute to the polarization between form- and substance-oriented approaches that are typically identified with, respectively, structural and functional paradigms. The diversity of standpoints exemplified and the divergence of operational tools employed make the volume a representative spectrum of the on-going developments in how language is conceptualized and analyzed as both an abstract entity and as a medium of communication, language teaching and learning included. For this reason, the readers will find as much of structural considerations as of functional reflections and practical applications.

Table Of Contents

  • Cover
  • Title
  • Copyright
  • About the author
  • About the book
  • This eBook can be cited
  • Table of Contents
  • Editors’ Preface
  • Intra-segmental architecture: the status of class nodes revisited
  • The semantics of action nouns derived from accomplishment and achievement verbs in English and Polish
  • The give and take of English Psalter translations
  • External strategies in support of content-based reading in L2/FL academic settings
  • Visions and revisions: on the evolving nature of trainee beliefs about teaching a foreign language
  • Detecting deception: linguistic and extralinguistic aspects of communication
  • Why do we need new dictionaries? Some main trends and innovations in English lexicography
  • Readers’ self-generated questions as a strategy in reading subject-specific expository texts: implications for EFL instruction
  • Teaching English as an international language in the Modern Philology Curriculum: a case for a Distributed Blended Training Model
  • Teaching English for internationalization purpose: a new approach to teaching English to academic and administrative staff members
  • Exploiting communicative and cognitive values of texts in reading-based EFL instruction
  • MaxE as an operator associated with prefixes in “clear” verbs?
  • Paper-bound online readers: Revisiting reading strategies of foreign language learners
  • Goal salience in foreign language learners
  • Unprecedented uses of the English present progressive
  • Sharing minds in panchrony: Chaucer's Fortune and Truth
  • Visions and revisions in translation strategies: the case of Fredzia Phi-Phi and Zakątek Fredzi Phi-Phi
  • Grice’s pragmatics in generative and cognitive traditions
  • On some conceptualizations of Europe in press discourse: an approach from access semantics
  • OV and VO in Old English: a feature-splitting account
  • The diversity of legal and political systems in media translation
  • Market metaphors in English economic press: metaphor systems and their axiological load present in business discourse

← 8 | 9 →

Editors’ Preface

This volume brings together a number of selected topics and issues, all having to do with some aspect of either theoretical or applied linguistics. Not only do the authors address different problems and exemplify them with different sources of language data, but they also champion different methodologies. In this sense of diversity of standpoints and divergence of operational tools, the volume shows a representative spectrum for the on-going developments in how language is conceptualized and, thus, analyzed, as both an abstract entity and as a medium of communication, language teaching and learning included. For this reason, the readers will find, in the respective papers, as much of structural considerations as of functional reflections and practical applications. Indeed, one suggested way of reading the volume papers could be that of the polarization between form- and substance-oriented approaches, typically identified with, respectively, generative and cognitive paradigms. This can be seen in the choice of the illustrative material (isolated lexical or sentential examples vs. discourse-based contextualizations), the temporal perspective (synchrony vs. diachrony), the object of examination (the linguistic system vs. the language user/learner), the assumed goal of analysis (description vs. explanation/application), the source of evidence (offline introspection vs. online discourse), and even of the referenced branch of linguistics (syntax, morphology, and phonology vs. semantics and pragmatics).

P.Ł. and K.S.
← 9 | 10 →

← 10 | 11 →

Anna Bloch-Rozmej

John Paul II University of Lublin

Intra-segmental architecture: the status of class nodes revisited

Abstract. In the study, Harris’s (1994) model of Element Theory is discussed, assumed and applied to the intra-segmental architecture, with special emphasis on the organization of melodic primes. It is, thus, claimed that the way the elements under the relevant nodes are organized has a serious bearing on the ultimate manifestation of the structure and the application of phonological processes. To verify this hypothesis, some evidence from Hungarian is examined.

Key terms: Government Phonology, Element Theory, segment internal structure, primes and nodes, Hungarian

1.  Introduction

Element Theory constitutes one of the major components of the Government Phonology framework (Kaye, Lowenstamm and Vergnaud 1985, 1990) which, since its advent in 1985, has undergone many serious modifications, of which Harris (1994) represents the classical core often applied, commented on and challenged. Harris’s work has been chosen as a basis for the present study devoted to the intra-segmental architecture, the organization of melodic primes in particular. The model assumes that elements that are primary building blocks of segments are arrayed under the so-called class nodes which mediate between the primes and the skeleton where phonological timing is represented. The most significant claim advocated in this article comes down to proposing that the way we organize the elements under the relevant nodes has a serious bearing on the ultimate manifestation of the structure and the application of phonological processes. To verify this hypothesis, some evidence from Hungarian will be examined. The paper is organized as follows. First, Harris’s (1994) approach to segment internal architecture will be outlined. Next the appropriate Hungarian data will be discussed and, finally, our new representational proposal will be put forward and tested against the linguistic evidence.

2.  Primes and nodes as units of melodic architecture

The non-linear framework of Government Phonology advocates an autosegmental concept of phonological representation and a privative nature of lexical ← 11 | 12 → oppositions. According to its compositional view of a segment, elements are the primitive units of melodic structure. As indicated above, melodic expressions are composed of univalent elements, each of which possesses an independent unique phonetic interpretation. Primes can also combine in accordance with language-specific licensing constraints to form more complex structures. Further, elements can enjoy different status within segmental units as one of them can be awarded head status defining the salient property of the melody and the other primes are mere dependents. Thus, the organization of primes within melodic expressions is contingent on the existence of asymmetric relations between the phonological primitives. The model also recognizes headless melodic structures in which the head position is unoccupied by any prime. This representation can have important consequences for both the phonetic interpretation of the segments and its response to phonological processes.

The most significant aspect of Harris’s model, immediately pertinent to the present discussion, is the internal architecture of segments. The framework proposes that elements are arranged under three class nodes – Root, Place/Resonance and Laryngeal. This assumption is founded on the empirical facts revealing that elements pattern into natural classes based on both their phonetic commonalities as well as shared responses to phonological processes. The class nodes exhibit a functional unity of elements since both individual primes and the entire class nodes are accessible to phonological processes. In Harris’s model of melodic architecture, primes reside on their own autosegmental tiers and are directly synchronized with a skeletal position. Their association with a slot is never mediated via any other melodic prime. The association of an element with a timing slot guarantees its phonetic manifestation. When the link is broken or not established, the prime cannot affect the phonetic output in any way. As already indicated, the arrangement of elements within the melodic plane depends on which class they belong to. Elements defining the place dimension of a segment will thus be gathered under a Place node, those responsible for the manner of articulation should be arrayed under the Root, whereas primes specifying the phonation type/tone have to be gathered under the Laryngeal node. The structure in (1) shows the geometric configuration of primes that potentially build phonological expressions (Harris 1994, 129): ← 12 | 13 →


Importantly, each prime, in order to be linked to a skeletal slot, has to be granted an autosegmental licence. The establishment of an association line between a prime and a position allows it to manifest its unique property. To summarize this part, Harris’s model does not predict any order or hierarchy that would characterize the internal architecture of class nodes. This feature of the framework will be examined in more detail in the sections below. In what follows, our attention will be focused on the internal structure of affricate sounds and examples of node-based representations of certain sound types in languages.

3.  More on segment architecture

As regards affricate sounds, relying on the recognition of their bipartite nature, Harris (1994) treats them as contour structures, where a single melodic expression possesses one Resonance node (element) and two Root nodes, each dominating respectively the elements of occlusion and noise. This representation is provided in (2) below and, within an analysis based on Harris (1994), can be applied to the structure of Hungarian affricates.


← 13 | 14 →

Thus, the availability of two independent manner elements: occlusion and noise, each attached to a separate Root node, will characterize the structure of all Hungarian affricates. What is important, such a structure is consistent with the phonetic manifestation of affricates in which the closure phase precedes that of friction. The separation of the two Roots is directly responsible for this effect. Such a representational configuration is labelled prime geometry. We summarize the major tenets of prime geometry in (3) below (after Harris 1994, 127–133):

(3) Major tenets of Prime Geometry as defined in Harris (1994)

A natural class is defined with respect to a phonological prime interpreted as the shared phonetic property.

The units accessible to phonological processes are either individual primes or the entire class nodes.

Elements pattern into natural classes and the functional unity of such classes is formally expressed through their gathering under the class nodes.

The hierarchical arrangement of primes under nodes defines the relations of dominance: a class node dominates the terminal nodes directly or via some intervening class node.

The three class nodes: Root, Place (Resonance) and Laryngeal are recognized on the basis of strong empirical evidence.1

The resonance elements A, I, U are gathered under the Place node, H and L are organized under the Laryngeal node, whereas N, h and ? are attached directly to the Root node (see McCarthy 1988).2

The elements are arrayed on separate autosegmental tiers and directly co-indexed with skeletal slots.

The above summary is quoted from Bloch-Rozmej (2008) and will constitute a useful point of reference for our further discussion. Significantly, there exists independent evidence for a hierarchical organization of primes. For instance, processes that make exclusive reference to the place specification of segments support the arrangement of place-defining primes under a single node. In English, ← 14 | 15 → place of articulation limitations are imposed on the nasals that occur in the coda of super-heavy rhyme structures (dominating three skeletal positions) as in dainty. More precisely, the coda sonorant has to agree with the following onset consonant with respect to the place dimension. Such a restriction treats resonance elements as a natural class. Further, the laryngeal specifications of sounds are affected by phonological processes, for example devoicing, independently of other segmental dimensions such as place or manner of articulation. On the other hand, no single process operates simultaneously on the hypothetical class of low vowels, coronals, fricatives and plosives, which indicates that the elements A, h and ? may not be organized under a single class node.

It is noteworthy that the integrity of a melodic expression is effected partly by the dominance relations between the Root node and the other non-terminal nodes. It is exactly because of this segment-internal dependency that a process targeting the Root node and causing its delinking from the skeletal slot, simultaneously suppresses the two remaining nodes dominated by the Root.

The recognition of class nodes and the hierarchical arrangement of elements allows us to produce a structural account of geminate, partial geminate and affricate structures in languages. The representation of a full geminate [tt] for instance involves the association of one Root node to two timing slots. In this way, all the elements subsumed under all the nodes are automatically shared by the two positions. This results in the manifestation of a long consonant (4a). Partial geminate structures of the [mp] type, in turn, require that adjacent skeletal slots license two independent Roots that would simultaneously share one Resonance node (as in (4b)). Affricates constitute the most complex structure type. As depicted in (4c), they are represented as contour structures with the manner elements being allowed to ‘co-exist in a position without being fused’ (Harris 1994, 130). As pointed out in Harris (1994, 131), ‘the homorganicity of the closure and release phases is represented as the sharing of Place.’ Consider the following structural illustrations of the formal solutions just described.


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ISBN (Hardcover)
Publication date
2016 (September)
Frankfurt am Main, Berlin, Bern, Bruxelles, New York, Oxford, Wien, 2016. 254 pp., 2 b/w fig., 13 tables

Biographical notes

Przemysław Łozowski (Volume editor) Katarzyna Stadnik (Volume editor)

Przemysław Łozowski is Associate Professor and Katarzyna Stadnik is Assistant Professor at the Department of English, Maria Curie-Skłodowska University, Lublin, Poland. Both are historically-oriented semanticists, developing a panchronic approach to examing language data.


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253 pages