LINGUIST List 24.4865

Mon Dec 02 2013

Qs: Consonant clusters and voice

Editor for this issue: Alex Isotalo <>

Date: 02-Dec-2013
From: Joaquim Brandão de Carvalho <>
Subject: Consonant clusters and voice
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Dear linguist fellows,

I am currently working on certain aspects of phonotactics. I have a question on the distribution of the [voice] feature in consonant clusters.

There are languages where any combination of both values of the feature [voice] is possible: they show pt, bd, bt and pd. (This is a simple shorthand for voice/voicelessness combination; place considerations are irrelevant here.)

There are also languages that allow harmonic clusters only (pt and bd – e.g., Classical Greek, Polish, Kartvelian ‘core clusters’).

My question is: do you know of cases where non harmonic clusters are possible if, and only if, the voiced consonant is in second position, that is pt, bd and pd are allowed, but not *bt?

Many thanks in advance for your help.

Linguistic Field(s): Phonetics                             Phonology

Page Updated: 02-Dec-2013