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Title: Semantic Congruence as a Principle of Linguistic Analysis
Author(s): HOWDEN, Marcia S.
Volume: 34 Date: 1985-1987
The general concept of congruence, that is, the union of like properties, has been advantageously applied in some areas of linguistic analysis, while in others it has been either taken for granted or totally ignored. In phonology its importance is widely recognized. Such phenomena as assimilation, for example the devoicing of the medial consonant in the French word cheval [ʃɣal], are a direct manifestation of the more general principle of congruence. Likewise in grammatical description there are a number of examples which ar fairly obvious. Many of these fall under the general rubric of agreement, in which certain grammatical categories in the word are being modified. Thus, in French, the gender and the number of an adjective must be congruent with those same categories in the noun being modified and one says le grand éclat (masculine singular) but les grandes illusions (féminine plural).