A Phonological Analysis of Vowel Allophony in West Greenlandic
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A typological peculiarity that West Greenlandic and other Inuit languages exhibit is that they have very few underlying segments. This is especially true for the vowels, of which there are only three. However, the allophonic variation of these three vowels is considerable. In this thesis I investigate the different vowel qualities arising through allophonic variation in West Greenlandic, and propose phonological patterns that are subsequently analysed in the framework of Optimality Theory. The analysis will show that the allophonic variation the vowels exhibit can be explained by the place of articulation of the consonants surrounding the vowel. In addition to this I will compare the phonological structures of Element Phonology with other thories of representation.