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Linguistic Inquiry

Spring 2003, Vol. 34, No. 2, Pages 199-224
(doi: 10.1162/002438903321663389)
© 2003 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Deriving the Feature-Filling/Feature-Changing Contrast: An Application to Hungarian Vowel Harmony
Article PDF (157.84 KB)

The article explores an alternative to the interpretive procedure adopted in SPE and proposes a unified interpretive procedure for all languages. The proposal solves long-standing problems by making it unnecessary to refer to a third value of binary features [ØF], to introduce negation into lexical representations (e.g., [NOT + rd]), or to introduce a feature filling/feature changing diacritic on rules.The article provides a metric for comparing extensionally equivalent rule systems and argues that the most concise formulation is not always the correct one, by appealing to crosslinguistic evidence.The proposal is illustrated by application to the target/trigger relations in Hungarian vowel harmony.