Underspecification

From Glottopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Definition

Underspecification is the theory that underlying representations are not fully specified i.c. that predictable information is not underlyingly present.

Example

In English there is no lexical distinction between aspirated and non-aspirated stops. Still there is a phonetic difference between the [p^h] in [p^h]in and the non-aspirated [p] in s[p]in. Underspecification theory expresses this by assuming that underlyingly both p's are not specified for aspiration. The aspiration feature is later (post-lexically) specified by a context-sensitive rule inserting [+spread glottis] at the beginning of a syllable; the non-aspiration is a consequence of a universal rule which inserts [-spread glottis] in all other contexts. See Structure preservation, structure-building rule.

Links

STUB
CAT This article needs proper categorization. You can help Glottopedia by categorizing it
Please do not remove this block until the problem is fixed.