S-Space Language Education Institute (언어교육원) Language Research (어학연구) Language Research (어학연구) Volume 26 Number 1/4 (1990)
An Overview of the Theory of Underspecification
- Ahn, Sang-Cheol
- Issue Date
- 서울대학교 언어교육원
- 어학연구, Vol.26 No.2, pp. 289-326
- The purpose of this paper is to observe the nature and characteristics of underspecification in phonology. For this purpose, I first discuss the motivation and the governing principles of the recent theory of underspecification. Then, it will be shown that the theory of underspecification is not only about the simplicity of segmental feature representation, but also about the overall generalization and simplicity of phonological specification. Thus the theory of underspecification provides a more systematic way of providing a phonological description with minimal specifications in underlying representation. Moreover, the interaction among phonological rules and redundancy rules is discussed, including certain constraints on the ordering of redundancy rules. Furthermore, I also discuss how this theory fits in other fields of phonology, such as Lexical Phonology and Feature Geometry. Finally, different views on "radical underspecification" theories are presented.