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Contiguity Theory$
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Norvin Richards

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780262034425

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262034425.001.0001

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(p.1) 1 Introduction
Contiguity Theory

Norvin Richards

The MIT Press

This chapter introduces the core claim of the book: that the construction of phonological representations begins in the narrow syntax, and that syntactic operations can be driven by phonological requirements. It sketches two kinds of arguments for this conclusion which will recur in what follows: first, that syntactic computation makes reference to some, but not all facts about the final phonological representation, suggesting that it cannot be the final representation that the computation makes reference to; and second, that careful analysis reveals many cases of derivationally induced opacity, demonstrating that the syntactic computation, at any given step of the derivation, makes reference only to properties of that particular derivational stage, and thus that the syntactic derivation must contain the phonological information to which the rules of syntax apparently refer. The chapter also introduces basic assumptions about syntax and phonology which will be important in the following chapters: on the syntax side, the basic ideas of current Minimalism, including the EPP, the notion of Probes and Goals, uninterpretable features, and a cyclic derivation with Spell-out at phase levels; on the phonological side, Match Theory and Idsardi’s approach to word-level stress.

Keywords:   Idsardi, Minimalism, Syntax-phonology interface

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