Structure-building rule

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Structure-building rule is a rule which does not change already specified information. This rule just fills in information which is unspecified.


the feature [voice] is distinctive within the class of obstruents, but non-distinctive in the class of sonorants. The latter fact can be expressed by leaving [voice] unspecified for this class of sounds. In the course of a derivation [voice] can be filled in by a structure-building rule. A property of structure-building rules is that the input and output are non-distinct.


Utrecht Lexicon of Linguistics


  • Archangeli, D. 1984. Underspecification in Yawelmani Phonology and Morphology, doct. diss, MIT.
  • Kiparsky, P. 1982. From Cyclic Phonology to Lexical Phonology, in: Hulst, H. van der and N. Smith (eds.) The Structure of Phonological Representations (I), pp.131-175
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