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Jost Gippert: Our Featured Linguist!

"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more



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Academic Paper


Title: Domains and Directionality in the Evolution of German Final Fortition
Author: Gregory K. Iverson
Email: click here to access email
Homepage: http://www.uwm.edu/~iverson
Institution: University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Author: Joseph C Salmons
Email: click here to access email
Homepage: http://joseph-salmons.net
Institution: University of Wisconsin Madison
Linguistic Field: Phonology
Subject Language: German
Abstract: Laryngeal realism (Honeybone 2005) holds that thoroughly voiced stops in a language like Dutch will be represented phonologically with the feature [voice], leaving the voiceless unaspirated stops laryngeally neutral, whereas the typically aspirated stops of a language like German are marked with the feature [spread glottis], rendering the passively voiced stops in this language neutral. These two languages also merge laryngeal oppositions in final environments, Dutch undergoing final devoicing but German final fortition. We apply the findings of Evolutionary Phonology (Blevins 2004, 2006b) to these distinctions in final laryngeal neutralisation, underscoring that the evolutionary approach to phonological alternation allows for non-assimilatory feature addition as well as loss. We examine in particular the known history of final fortition in German and find that the reference standard form of the language has evolved an alignment condition to the effect that a fortified syllable edge must match up with the morpheme edge.

CUP at LINGUIST

This article appears in Phonology Vol. 24, Issue 1, which you can read on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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