LINGUIST List 15.1586

Tue May 18 2004

Qs: English 'Booting'; Hiatus Resolution

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  1. Paviour-Smith Martin, Student slang 'booting'
  2. Marianne Borroff, Hiatus Resolution and glottals

Message 1: Student slang 'booting'

Date: Sun, 16 May 2004 16:40:12 -0400 (EDT)
From: Paviour-Smith Martin <>
Subject: Student slang 'booting'

Dear Listers, 

My students and I are currently investigating narratives as discourses
which construct identity. We have come across a piece of American
slang we canot interpret here in New Zealand, and I ask for your
help. One narrative written by a student in North Carolina writes:
[Name] was booting. [Name] was booting. Everyone was.

Any ideas as to what this means?

Martin Paviour-Smith
Massey University, 
Palmerston North,
New Zealand 
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Message 2: Hiatus Resolution and glottals

Date: Mon, 17 May 2004 15:16:11 -0400 (EDT)
From: Marianne Borroff <>
Subject: Hiatus Resolution and glottals

I'm currently working on vowel-vowel interactions across glottals, and
have found an interesting pattern in some languages in which hiatus
resolution-like patterns occur despite the presence of a glottal
stop. For example, in Yatzachi Zapotec (an Oto-Manguean language
spoken in South Eastern Mexico), the input VV and V?V sequences have
the same output realization (the following transcriptions do not use
the IPA, due to difficulties in transmitting special characters. ~
after a vowel signifies creakiness):

(1) Yatzachi Zapotec VV and V?V sequences (Data from Butler-Haworth (1980))
 Input Output
a. zecha + o? ze.chao? diphthongization
 chshagna? + o? chshagnao~ diphthongization
b. chxi + o? chxjo? dipthongization
 chzi? + o? chzjo~ diphthongization
c. zecha + e? zeche? coalescence
 chshagna? + e? chshagnee~ coalescence

Another example is found in Gujarati below. In Gujarati, the passive
voice marker is realized as a suffix of the form [-a], which is added
to the verbal base. When the verb is vowel final, [w] is added to
break up the hiatus. When the verb is [h] final, [w] is also

(2) Active Passive
 a. ap 'see' apa 'appear, be seen'
 b. jan 'know' jana 'be known'
 c. pi 'drink' piwa 'be drunk'
 d. nah 'bathe' nahwa 'be bathed'

In Yucatec Maya, the preferred repair strategy for vowels in hiatus is
the epenthesis of an agreeing glide between the two vowels, with front
vowels taking [y] and back vowels taking [w]. In some forms in which a
glottal consonant intervenes between the two vowels underlyingly, the
result is the deletion of the glottal stop and epenthesis of a glide:

(3) Input Output Gloss
 a. le m�esay-e? le m�esaye? 'that table'
 b. le ty�a-o? le ty�awo 'that aunt'
 c. kin c'ah ik kin c'ayik 'I give it'
 d. p'o? eh p'oyeh 'wash it!'
 (Data from Orie and Bricker 2000)

My question is whether there are other languages that exhibit hiatus
resolution-like patterns despite the presence of a glottal. I'd
appreciate any additional information or references you might have
regarding similar patterns cross-linguistically. I hope to gather the
information and post a summary to the list.

Marianne L. Borroff (SUNY Stony Brook)
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