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LINGUIST List 24.3467

Wed Sep 04 2013

Qs: influence of obstruents on preceding sibilants

Editor for this issue: Alex Isotalo <alxlinguistlist.org>

Date: 30-Aug-2013
From: Birgit Alber <birgit.albergmail.com>
Subject: influence of obstruents on preceding sibilants
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There are many German and Italian dialects displaying a phonological process by which an alveolar sibilant [s] becomes postalveolar (palatoalveolar) [S] before stops (sometimes also before sonorants).

Could someone point me to phonetic literature discussing why such a process might take place?

I am aware of literature discussing a similar process when the sibilant is close to a rhotic, but I could not find any literature discussing the influence of obstruents on preceding sibilants.

I am also aware of the phonological literature analyzing this process as dissimilation (Wiese 1991, Alber 2001, Hall 2007), but do not think that this explanation works, since in many dialects the process takes place also before /k/.

Birgit Alber

Linguistic Field(s): Phonetics

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