Published December 12, 1995 | Version v1
Working paper Open

Privativity, Underspecification, and Consequences for an Adequate Theory of Phonetic Implementation

  • 1. Cornell University


The consequences of privative features for an adequate model of phonetic implementation are
explored. First some background on recent theories of underspecification and privativity is presented. Then these issues are explored by examining the observed patterns of nasalization in French.

First an account of the phonetic implementation of these patterns is sketched out assuming Nasal as a binary feature and then considering what would be required for Nasal to be interpreted as a privative feature.

The results require a "smart phonetics" which has access to a wide range of information. not necessarily generally assumed to be part of a phonetic representation.


This paper is copyrighted, and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) - see



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