ISSN: 2306-5737E-ISSN: 2658-4069
Acta Linguistica Petropolitana
Transactions of the Institute for Linguistic Studies
ISSN: 2306-5737E-ISSN: 2658-4069
Acta Linguistica Petropolitana
Transactions of the Institute for Linguistic Studies 

Unified description of Finnish consonant gradation

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Zelenskii Dmitrii M. Unified description of Finnish consonant gradation. Acta Linguistica Petropolitana. 2022. 18(2): 282–303.

Finnish consonant gradation and some related phonological processes are described in this paper, using standard generative phonology rules of [Chomsky, Halle 1968] (postcyclic ones). An important feature of the analysis is its build-up in purely phonological terms, using no morphological information whatsoever except placement of morpheme boundaries and their type (word boundary #, clitic boundary ꞊, or formative boundary +) in a phonological string. Thus the rule-based phonology’s power is demonstrated on a process which was previously described in one of the three ways: morphologically; through the trademark mechanism of Optimality Theory, interaction of universal violable constraints with language-specific ranking; or via Government Phonology which is based upon well-formedness of CV structures linked to unary phonological features, thus effectively lacking both a derivational component and a treatment for actual melodies observed. This paper is basically a shortened version of my unpublished graduation paper written in Russian [Zelenskiy 2018], where nearly all phonological phenomena of Finnish, rather than merely consonant gradation and related issues, are discussed. Note, however, that this paper also suggests (or, in some cases, hints at) some modifications of the original analysis, so a reader already familiar with the richer analysis may still find this paper worthwhile. Additionally, the set of segments available for Finnish underlying representations of morpheme’s exponents is discussed in whole, even in the aspects not directly relevant to consonant gradation, and an important modification, namely that the glottal fricative, h, is phonologically not specified for place, is suggested.

Finnish language, phonology, consonant gradation, morphology, phonological rule
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Finnish language, phonology, consonant gradation, morphology, phonological rule
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