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"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: Phonotactics and the prestopped velar lateral of Hiw: resolving the ambiguity of a complex segment
Author: Alexandre Francois
Email: click here to access email
Homepage: http://alex.francois.free.fr/
Institution: Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique
Linguistic Field: Phonology
Subject Language: Hiw
Abstract: Complex segments consisting of two phases are potentially ambivalent as to which phase determines their phonemic status ??? e.g. whether // is a stop or a nasal. This theoretical problem is addressed here with respect to a typologically unusual phoneme in Hiw, an endangered Oceanic language of Vanuatu. This complex segment, //, combines a velar voiced stop and a velar lateral approximant. Similar phonemes, in the few languages which have them, have been variously described as (laterally released) stops, affricates or (prestopped) laterals. The nature of Hiw // can be established from its patterning in tautosyllabic consonant clusters. The licensing of word-initial CC clusters in Hiw complies with the Sonority Sequencing Principle, albeit with some adjustments. Consequently, the well-formedness of words like /meji????/ ???berserk??? relies on // being analysed as a prestopped velar lateral approximant ??? the only liquid in the system.

CUP at LINGUIST

This article appears in Phonology Vol. 27, Issue 3, which you can read on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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