Phon group meets today (January 31st) from 11am-1:30pm in SS 560A. Peter Jurgec will be giving a talk, titled "Schrödinger's Features".
This talk analyzes incomplete neutralization as a phonological pattern. The main idea is that incomplete neutralization arises because it can satisfy both faithfulness AND markedness. (In contrast, complete neutralization satisfies a markedness constraint, but violates a faithfulness constraint.) The solution is representational. I propose that feature values can be ambiguous. In particular, a binary feature [F] can be simultaneously both [+F] and [-F]. The talk explores the consequences of allowing such representations. Two cases of incomplete neutralization are analyzed: final devoicing in German (with binary features) and vowel lengthening in Japanese (with privative features).