My Professor will write something like this,

[+consonantal, - sonorant, - continuant] → / _____ $

But I can't seem to figure out what it means. Does it mean at the end of a syllable?

Can someone explain what "$" means and when it is used?

1 Answer 1


The fact that such a disjunction (itself an indicator of a problem) appeared so many times in so many languages, with variations that directly mimicked the syllable structure of the languages in question, was one reason why the notion of syllable was reintroduced into generative phonology. It was first re-introduced somewhat informally, using shorthand notations like

X ˈ Y / __ $

(where the dollar sign or some other symbol, such as a period, was meant to indicate a syllable boundary, although syllables were not part of the formal apparatus of the theory). Such shorthand notations did not indicate for everyone at the time that the syllable was necessary. Hyman wrote in (1975:192) that “[w]hile the use of $ instead of C, V, and ## sometimes simplifies phonological statements [...], the fact that it can always be avoided is seen as evidence that it has no phonological status.”

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