Document Type



Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor's Name

Mehmet Yavas

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Kemp Williams

Third Advisor's Name

Feryal Yavas

Date of Defense



This thesis looks at two recent developments in phonology, feature geometry and underspecification. Three models for feature geometry (Bernhardt, Halle-Sagey and Clements-Hume) and principles of radical underspecification are studied using previously collected data from child substitutions which reflect normal and unusual substitution processes. The goal of the thesis is to determine the ability of the feature geometry models and underspecification to account for the differences between normal and unusual processes in a principled manner. The findings are that neither feature geometry nor underspecification when used alone provides a complete explanation for the difference between normal and unusual substitution processes. However, by incorporating principles of underspecification into the feature geometry models, the normal and unusual substitutions can be distinguished. Modifications to the feature geometries are recommended based on the findings.




If you are the rightful copyright holder of this dissertation or thesis and wish to have it removed from the Open Access Collection, please submit a request to and include clear identification of the work, preferably with URL.

Included in

Linguistics Commons



Rights Statement

Rights Statement

In Copyright. URI:
This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).