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LINGUIST List 18.2761

Mon Sep 24 2007

Qs: Syllabic Weight Based on Syntactic Positioning?

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        1.    David Iannucci, Syllabic Weight Based on Syntactic Positioning?

Message 1: Syllabic Weight Based on Syntactic Positioning?
Date: 22-Sep-2007
From: David Iannucci <yvathvfgyvfgpunchcutter.ml1.net>
Subject: Syllabic Weight Based on Syntactic Positioning?
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I wonder if anyone out there is familiar with a language which maintains
a distinction of syllabic weight with grammatical implications, but in
which weight can be determined either by segmental make-up (e.g. having
coda or long vowel) or by position in a grammatical constituent?

I'm working with a dead language (Chitimacha) for which Swadesh claimed
that even simple CV (short vowel) syllables are classified as ''heavy''
when they appear in word-initial, or in phrase-final position (and light
elsewhere). Furthermore, although CV syllables in these positions are
heavy, they are a little ''less heavy'' than those which are segmentally
heavy. The author unfortunately does not justify these claims with
examples of the grammatical effects which obtain from these
weight classes.

Does this ring a bell for anyone? If so, can you point me to
literature, or even just the name of a language that is documented as
having a similar phonology?

Dave Iannucci
University of Utah

Linguistic Field(s): Phonology

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