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Les changements en chaîne historiques confrontés à la phonologie moderne : Propulsion et traction modélisées par deux approches de préservation

Abstract : The aim of this thesis is to formalise historical chain shifts within modern phonological theories. Martinet (1952, 1955, 1970) distinguishes two main categories of chain shifts: push chains and pull chains. Push chains will be dealt with in the first main part of this thesis (chapters 2 and 3). For modelling of push chains, an existing model is used: Łubowicz's (2003, 2012) Contrast Preservation Theory. For modelling pull chains, which will be the focus of the second part of this thesis (chapters 4 and 5), a new theory will be proposed, based on the phonetic work by De Boer (2001). This proposition is based on the notion of the pillar domains (domaines piliers). Chapter 1 starts with the observation that neither the derivational, SPE-like, theories or output driven theories like Prince's & Smolensky's Optimality Theory (OT) are able to formalise chain shifts properly. Within the derivational theories, it is possible to get a correct description of a chain shift. However, in order to do that, we have to break the links between the different stages of the chain shift. Therefore, one loses the systemic interdependence of the different stages, which is the essence of the chain shift. As regards to Optimality Theory, it is the two-level structure of the theory which proves problematic for chain shifts. In a theoretical chain shift such as /a/ → [e] > /e/ → [i], it is impossible for OT to make, in the same analysis, [e] an optimal candidate and /e/ a non-optimal one. In chapter 2, we analyse and compare several output-driven propositions that have been made to account for chain shifts. Many of them are not satisfactory because they do not manage to model the systemic motivation of chain shifts. The only theory that seems able to complete this objective is Łubowicz's Contrast Preservation Theory (CPT). This theory is based on the notions of contrast, contrast preservation and it evaluates scenarios rather than individual candidates. Contrast preservation is achieved through contrast transformation. The term contrast transformation indicates that the contrast levels of the input system are preserved but that their nature is different in the output system. One observation about CPT is that Łubowicz designed it for synchronic chain shifts. In chapter 2, we prove that CPT is able to model the perceptible coherence in diachronic chain shifts. In chapter 3, thus we decide to test the validity of CPT on actual historical chain shifts. It is tested on two cases. One is the well-known vocalic chain shift the Great Vowel Shift in English. The other one is the Second German Sound Shift (or High German Consonant Shift). We demonstrate that CPT is able to account for both of these chain shifts. At the end of chapter 3, CPT is tested on another type of chain shifts, i.e. chain shifts in first-language acquisition. The studied chain shift is s → θ → f. This chain shift is different from the other two because there is no new contrast level created. The last stage of this chain shift ends with a merger . Once again, CPT can account for this chain shift in a coherent way.
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Submitted on : Monday, April 16, 2018 - 2:59:05 PM
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Julien Fulcrand. Les changements en chaîne historiques confrontés à la phonologie moderne : Propulsion et traction modélisées par deux approches de préservation. Linguistique. Université Charles de Gaulle - Lille III, 2017. Français. ⟨NNT : 2017LIL30023⟩. ⟨tel-01767736⟩



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