Publishing Partner: Cambridge University Press CUP Extra Publisher Login
amazon logo
More Info

New from Oxford University Press!


It's Been Said Before

By Orin Hargraves

It's Been Said Before "examines why certain phrases become clichés and why they should be avoided -- or why they still have life left in them."

New from Cambridge University Press!


Sounds Fascinating

By J. C. Wells

How do you pronounce biopic, synod, and Breughel? - and why? Do our cake and archaic sound the same? Where does the stress go in stalagmite? What's odd about the word epergne? As a finale, the author writes a letter to his 16-year-old self.

Book Information

Sun Image

Title: Resolving Hiatus
Written By: Roderic F Casali

This study investigates two alternative ways in which languages resolve sequences of adjacent vowels (hiatus): deletion of one of the vowels, or coalescence of the adjacent vowels to form a third vowel that combines features of both the originals. Although existing phonological theories predict relatively few restrictions on the behavior of either process, a survey of 92 languages reveals a number of surprising and previously unreported limitations on their behavior. For example, although deletion of the first of two vowels is extremely common and can apply in any position, deletion of the second vowel is restricted to certain well-defined morpho-syntactic contexts, such as the boundary between a root and a suffix. These restrictions, are explained in terms of functionally-motivated constraints that favor preservation of phonological material in certain prominent positions, such as in root morphemes. In the case of coalescence, the study reveals a surprising correlation between the structure of a language's vowel inventory and the result of merging high and a non-high vowels. This correlation is explained in terms of a novel theory of acoustic height features whose detailed specification is determined by functionally-motivated constraints sensitive to the number of vowel heights within a particular language.

Publication Year: 1998
Publisher: Garland Publishers
Review: Not available for review. If you would like to review a book on The LINGUIST List, please login to view the AFR list.
BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Phonetics
Issue: All announcements sent out by The LINGUIST List are emailed to our subscribers and archived with the Library of Congress.
Click here to see the original emailed issue.

Format: Hardback
ISBN: 0815331495
ISBN-13: N/A
Prices: $59