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By Rochelle Lieber

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14 Page 24 The proposal to identify the skeleton tier with the major class features is, of course, a much more controversial choice (see Levin 1982-ms, Yip 1983-ms). 3, where I will examine the role of the skeleton in association. Some support for this proposal will emerge in that discussion. Some languages will, of course, project one or more tiers in addition to Tm and Ts. Let us say that for every tier which a language L projects in addition to Tm and Ts, there will need to be an explicit PROJECTION STATEMENT in the grammar of L indicating what feature or features are autosegmentalized.

For example, a single gesture ''velum down'' (= [ + nasal]) can be spread over several segments, each involving a number of independent gestures. Those articulatory gestures that behave independently of other gestures in a languagelike the [nasal] example aboveare afforded their own tiers in autosegmental representations and are mapped onto or synchronized with other tiers composed of other features, as illustrated in (1): (1) Page 8 Autosegmental theory is thus, in some sense, a theory of phonological representations, that is, a theory of possible and impossible configurations of distinctive features (see also van der Hulst and Smith 1984).

These general revisions to the theory will turn out to have wide empirical ramifications, as I will show in chapters 2, 3, and 4. Chapter 2 will be a detailed examination of consonant and vowel mutation, and chapter 3 of consonant and vowel harmony; chapter 4 will cover selected topics in tone systems. In Page 4 these chapters I will try to show that the theoretical revisions proposed in chapter I reveal underlying similarities in seemingly disparate phenomena and also lead to substantial simplifications in particular analyses.

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