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Revitalizing Endangered Languages

Edited by Justyna Olko & Julia Sallabank

Revitalizing Endangered Languages "This guidebook provides ideas and strategies, as well as some background, to help with the effective revitalization of endangered languages. It covers a broad scope of themes including effective planning, benefits, wellbeing, economic aspects, attitudes and ideologies."

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Dissertation Information

Title: The Syllable Structure of Bangla in Optimality Theory and its Application to the Analysis of Verbal Inflectional Paradigms in Distributed Morphology Add Dissertation
Author: Somdev Kar Update Dissertation
Email: click here to access email
Institution: Universität Tübingen, Department of Romance Languages
Completed in: 2009
Linguistic Subfield(s): Linguistic Theories; Morphology; Phonetics; Phonology;
Subject Language(s): Bengali
Language Family(ies): Indo-European
Director(s): Hubert Truckenbrodt

Abstract: In the first part of this thesis, an extensive corpus study is used in
order to determine the frequency of occurrences of different consonant
clusters. It turns out that the clusters are best described with the help
of a division of the Bangla lexicon into three strata: Sanskrit borrowings
(SB), Native Bangla words (NB), and the other borrowings (OB). The NB
stratum does not allow complex onsets while SB and OB allow complex onsets.
Further, SB and NB do not allow complex codas, while these are found in OB.
A range of other restrictions are discussed. Special attention is paid to
voicing and to aspiration. An agreement analysis of voicing at the word
medial position is argued for. A positional faithfulness analysis is
presented for syllable final deaspiration. The analysis is presented in
Optimality Theory (OT), following the stratification of the lexicon by Ito
and Mester (in Japanese).

In the second part of the thesis, a morphological analysis in the
Distributed Morphology framework (Halle and Marantz) is provided for
standard verbal inflectional paradigms of Bangla (Bengali). The
inflectional categories that are covered by the analysis are ten categories
of tense/mood (perfect, conditional etc), three levels of politeness
(Formal, Polite and Intimate) in three persons. The Bangla analysis is
compared with a similar analysis of the much simpler case of English verbal
inflectional morphology. The analysis of Bangla in this second part
compares a consonant-final stem with a vowel-final stem for all forms.
Differences between the two Bangla cases show the existence of a number of
phonologically motivated changes, some of which also relate to syllable
structure (diphthongization, gemination). These are analyzed in Optimality
Theory in the third part of the thesis, extending the analysis of the first
part. The forms are thus accounted for by the morphological analysis in DM
and following phonological changes on them, analyzed in OT.