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Cognitive Literary Science

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Cognitive Literary Science "Brings together researchers in cognitive-scientific fields and with literary backgrounds for a comprehensive look at cognition and literature."


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Intonation and Prosodic Structure

By Caroline Féry

Intonation and Prosodic Structure "provides a state-of-the-art survey of intonation and prosodic structure."


Academic Paper


Title: Questioning the universality of the syllable: evidence from Japanese
Author: Laurence Labrune
Institution: Université Bordeaux 1
Linguistic Field: Phonology; Typology
Subject Language: Japanese
Abstract: This paper reexamines the issue of the mora, the foot and the syllable in Tokyo Japanese, and shows that whereas the mora and the foot are indisputably present and active, the evidence for the syllable is inconspicuous and disputable. Building on this observation, I claim that Tokyo Japanese makes no use of the syllable. Instead, two types of mora are distinguished: regular CV moras and weak (deficient) moras. Weak moras include the moraic nasal, the first part of a geminate and the second part of a long vowel, as well as moras containing an onsetless vowel, a devoiced vowel or an epenthetic vowel. I further argue that feet obey a set of structural constraints stipulating that they be properly headed by a regular full mora. With this enriched notion of mora type, the paper argues that neither the syllable nor any other level of the prosodic hierarchy is obligatory in all languages.

CUP AT LINGUIST

This article appears IN Phonology Vol. 29, Issue 1.

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