LINGUIST List 7.943

Fri Jun 28 1996

Sum: moraic languages (2 ed.)

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  1. Kawagashira Nobuyuki, summary: moraic languages (2 ed.)

Message 1: summary: moraic languages (2 ed.)

Date: Thu, 27 Jun 1996 13:56:38 +0200
From: Kawagashira Nobuyuki <s945025ipe.tsukuba.ac.jp>
Subject: summary: moraic languages (2 ed.)
Dear subsribers

 I posted a query for mora-time languages several months ago.
I got many helpful information from contributors.
I greatly appreciated them.
I summarized the list of mora-timed languages by contributors.
This is the second summary of moraic languages.

(1) CONTRIBUTORS

Thank you very much to the following contributors.

 Margaret Hall Dunn dunnhaskins.yale.edu
 Tapani Salminen tasalmincc.helsinki.fi
 Hartmut Haberland hartmutruc.dk
 Steven Schaufele fcoswsprairienet.org
 Kumiko Makihara kumikou.washington.edu
 Pier Marco Bertinetto bertinetsns.it

 John E. Koontz koontzboulder.nist.gov
 Satoshi Uehara sueharawellesley.edu
 San Duanmu duanmusnoopy.ling.lsa.umich.edu
 Rick Mc Callister rmccallisunmuw1.muw.edu
 Rod Johnson rcjmail.msen.com
 Allan R. King mccayjet.es
 Bruce Connell connellbvax.ox.ac.uk

(2) WHAT IS MORAIC LANGUAGES

Mainly I felt that there are many ideas about moraic languages.
It is difficult to reach consensus for every scholars.
Rod Johnson wrote:
Moraic languages are those in which the mora plays a part in the
phonology or the metrical system.

> Kenneth Pike's _Phonetics_ (or perhaps _Phonemics_?) in
> the distinction between mora-timing and syllable-timing
> languages. There were a number of phonetic studies in the
> 1950s and 1960 attempting to either establish or deny the
> vailidty of the distinction, but it seems no definitive
> consensus was ever reached.

Rod Johnson wrote: Let me just point out, as a matter of terminology,
> that "mora-timing" does not mean "moraic". In a mora-timing
> language, each mora takes approximately the same time to
> pronounce--thus a heavy (2-mora) syllable will take twice as long as
> a light one. This phenomenon is also called "isochrony, and is
> mainly a phonetic one. "Moraic" is a phonological phenomenon, in
> which a language is sensitive to the heavy/light distinction,
> regardless of timing (especially in stress or accent). So a
> language could be moraic but not mora-timing. The two ideas are
> quite different.

(3) LIST OF MORAIC LANGUAGES

SANSKRIT

Steven Schaufele wrote:
Sanskrit is a mora-counting language in the same way that Latin and
Classical Greek are.
Short vowels count as 1 mora, long vowels as 2, and any consonant in
the coda (not only nasals) counts as 1 mora.

 ra.t.na.m "jewel"
 ya.jna.m "sacrifice" (acc.)
 pr.thi.vi.i "earth"
 sva.pa.tya.sya "handsome"
 vi.kra.a.n.ti.m "victorious stride"

The critical distinction is between 1-mora syllables and syllables of
more than one mora; all traditional Sanskrit poetic prosody depends
upon this distinction between `light' and `heavy' syllables. Little
attention is paid to the distinction between 2-mora and 3-mora
syllables.

LATIN

Moraic features are similar to Sanskrit above.

CLASSICAL GREEK

ge.ra.i HLL "well"
 lova lo.o.va HLL "bed"
 diena di.e.na LLH "afternoon"
 rytas ri.i.ta.s HLLL "morning"
 ac^iu a.a.Cu.u HLLL "thank you"
 labas la.a.ba.s LHLL "good"
 lovys lo.o.vi.i.s LLLHL "tub"
 vakaras va.a.ka.ra.s LHLLLLL "evening"

CLASSICAL ARABIC

JAPANESE (Standard Japanese)

 SEN-EN se.N.e.N [see~ee~n] HLLL one thousand yen
 SENNEN se.N.ne.N [see~nee~n] HLLL one thousand years
 SEIEN se.e.e.N [se::e~n] LHHH cheering
 SEINEN se.e.ne.N [se:nee~n] LHHH adolescent
 SEQKEN se.Q.ke.N [se_kee~n] LHHH soap ([_] shows silence)
 TEQSEN te.Q.se.N [tes:ee~n] LHHH iron wire
 UMA u.ma [u-ma] LH horse (ordinary)
 UMA N.ma [mma] LH horse (colloq., fast speech)
 POKEQTO po.ke.Q.to [poke_to] LHLL pocket

 Traditionally sokuon /Q/ is regarded as consonantal gemination.
 This theory is true in sibilant gemination /s/ [s] and /sj/ [S].
 TEQSEN te.Q.se.N [tes:ee~] LHHH iron wire
 HAQSIja ha.Q.sja [haS:a] LHHH (train or bus) starts
 But /Q/ is realized as silence before stops including affricates, /c/ [ts]
 and /cj/ [tS].
 MEQTU me.Q.cu [me_tsu-] HLL Mets(?): juice name
 HAQTIjaKU ha.Q.cja.ku [ha_tSaku-] LHHH departure and arrival
 /Q/ is usually realized as silence or duration of sibilant noise.
 Phonetically it does not have a pitch information because its silence.
 Maybe the previous vowel have the pitch information and a hearer phono-
 gically recognizes that /Q/ has a high pitch.
 KAQTA ka.Q.ta [ka_ta] HLL won
 KAQTA ka.Q.ta [ka_ta] LHH bought
 I think high pitch of /Q/ is suspectible.

 Sokuon /Q/ is mainly devided into two phonetical realization:
 a) silence before voiceless consonants and affricates.
 b) voiceless sibilant before voiceless sibilant.

KILIVILA (KIRIWINA)

 ba.la "I will go"
 e.la "he/she goes"
 a.m.be.sa "where"
 ba.ki.u.m "I will do secretly"
 bi.ka.tu.po.i.a.i.m.si "they will ask you"
 m.se.'u "smoke"
 ka.bi.ta.m "wisdom"
 m.m.mo.ta "this (bundle)"
 la.o.di.la "bush, jungle"
 i.si.si.a.si "they stay (in a place)"
 i.ka.tu.po.i.a.i.da.si "he asks us"
 to.m.mo.ta "people"

Some East Oceanic Languages:
 HAWAIIAN, FIJIAN

SIOUAN LANGUAGES (NORTH AMERICA):
 DAKOTAN, OMAHA-PONCA, WINNEBAGO(HOCHANK), CROW

(4) QUESTIONABLE LANGUAGES AS A MORAIC

FINNISH

 I and M. Hall Dunn agree Finnish is mora-timed. But T. Salminen,
P. M. Bertinetto disagree.

 muta mu.ta HL
 mutta mu.t.ta HLL but
 muuta mu.u.ta HLL
 muutta mu.u.t.ta HLLL earth (abl.)

CHINESE

 San Duan wrote:
> In my opinion, Chinese is also mora-timed.
 See references.

(5) REFERENCES

Definitions

 Trubetzkoy, N.S. (1977)
 _Grundzuege der Phonologie_ Vandenhoeck & ruprecht, Goettingen

 Hayes, Bruce _Metrical Stress Theory_

 Pike, Kenneth (1964)
 _Phonetics: A critical analysis of phonetic theory and a
 technic for the practical description of sounds_
 The University of Michigan

 Ilse Lehiste

 Pier Marco Bertinetto (1989)
 _Reflections on the dichotmy <stress> vs. <syllable-timing>_
 Revue de Phonetique Appliquee n. 91-92-93

 Cutler, Anne (1983)
 _Prosody: Models and Measurements_ Springer Verlag

Kilivila (Kiriwina)

 Senft, Gunter, (1952)
 _Kilivila : the language of the Trobriand Islanders_
 Berlin ; New York : Mouton de Gruyter, c1986.
 Series title: Mouton grammar library ; 3.

CHINESE

 Duanmu, San. (1994)
 _Syllabic weight and syllabic durations: A correlation
 between phonology and phonetics_ Phonology 11.1: 1-24.

(6) SUMMARIZER'S COMMENTS

 I think it take long time and effort to study moraness.
I have several qustions and suggestions to study it.

 1) Viepoints:
 I found some arguments or theories got confused with different
 viewpoints auch as PHONETICAL, PHONOLOGICAL and MORPHOLOGICAL 
	ones.
 2) Provability:
 Is it possible to prove moraness by phonetical experiments?
 For example, isochrony.
 3) Usefulness:
 Is it useful to categorize language by moraness?
 Is this concept meaningful for phonological analysis?
 4) Syllable and Mora:
 How is the relationship between a syllable and a mora?
 Are they exclusive concepts or overlapping entities?
 5) Definition:
 What are conditions (bases) to construct moraness?
 6) Consensus:
 Why cannot so many scholars reach to consensus about moraness?

Sincerely yours

KAWAGASHIRA Nobuyuki
s945025ipe.tsukuba.ac.jp
http://koryu3.statc.go.jp/~kawagasr/
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