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LINGUIST List 19.3912

Fri Dec 19 2008

Diss: Phonetics/Phonology: DiCanio: 'The Phonetics and Phonology of...'

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        1.    Christian DiCanio, The Phonetics and Phonology of San Martín Itunyoso Trique

Message 1: The Phonetics and Phonology of San Martín Itunyoso Trique
Date: 18-Dec-2008
From: Christian DiCanio <dicanioberkeley.edu>
Subject: The Phonetics and Phonology of San Martín Itunyoso Trique
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Institution: University of California, Berkeley
Program: Phonology Lab
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2008

Author: Christian Thomas DiCanio

Dissertation Title: The Phonetics and Phonology of San Martín Itunyoso Trique

Dissertation URL:

Linguistic Field(s): Phonetics

Subject Language(s): Triqui, San Martín Itunyoso (trq)

Dissertation Director(s):
Larry M. Hyman
Ian Maddieson
Keith Johnson

Dissertation Abstract:

This dissertation investigates the phonology and phonetics of San Martín
Itunyoso Trique, an Otomanguean language spoken in Mexico. Along with
describing the language's phonological system, I examine two distinct
aspects of the language's phonetics: the fortis-lenis consonant contrast
and the interaction of laryngeals with tone. The investigation of the
phonological system focuses on the structure of the morphological word,
which is characterized by final syllable prominence. I show that prominence
is instantiated by increased duration, the final syllable's ability to
license all phonological contrasts, and its ability to license certain
contrasts on preceding syllables.

I analyze the fortis-lenis contrast in Trique, observing its primary
correlates to be durational with an additional glottal spreading gesture in
fortis obstruents. Articulatory strength has been both encoded in
phonological theory as a distinctive feature, e.g. [TENSE] (Jansen, 2004),
and as a constraint determining target attainment in consonant gestures,
e.g. LAZY (Kirchner, 2000). Contra Jansen (2004), I argue that the contrast
in Trique does not involve differences in effort. Contra Kirchner (2000), I
argue that the observed patterns of lenition are best explained by the
contrast's phonetic correlates, not by abstract constraints on target

With respect to tone and laryngeals, I observe that post-vocalic /h/ is
often realized as a large magnitude increase in vocalic breathiness that is
gradually phased across the rime duration. Breathy phonation does not
perturb pitch on lower tones, but it does on higher tones. Laryngeal
consonants and non-modal phonation are known to induce vocalic pitch
perturbations. This may both cause tonogenesis in a language's diachronic
phonology and condition certain distributional patterns of tones and
laryngeals in a synchronic phonology. Since pitch perturbations cause
listeners to misperceive tone on vowels, it has been hypothesized that
speakers abruptly phase laryngeals and tones to avoid listener
misperception (Silverman, 1997b). My findings argue against this abrupt
phasing view of intergestural prosodic timing but are predicted in a
body-cover model of F0 control (Titze, 1994).
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