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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 role of sonority in consonant cluster mapping in Brazilian Portuguese Add Dissertation
Author: Tatiana Keller Update Dissertation
Email: click here to access email
Institution: Pontificia Universidade Católica do Rio Gande do Sul, Applied Linguistics
Completed in: 2010
Linguistic Subfield(s): Phonology;
Subject Language(s): Portuguese
Director(s): Leda Bisol

Abstract: In this research, we analyze, in light of Optimality Theory, the role of
constraints that make reference to the sonority distance between segments
in the mapping of tauto and heterosyllabic consonantal clusters in
Brazilian Portuguese. For that, we use a sonority hierarchy in which the
sonority degree of non-sibilant obstruents equals 0, sibilant obstruents 1,
nasals 2, liquids 3, glides 4 and vowels 5. Thus, consonantal clusters in
the same syllable are well-formed, or faithful to the input when the
sonority distance is +3; for instance, the sonority rises from 0 to 3 in
the sequences 'pr' and 'bl' in words like prato 'dish' and blusa 'blouse'
(p= 0 and r= 3, b= 0 and l =3). In clusters with a sonority distance lesser
than +3, such as sp in words such as 'sports' (s=1 and p=0; and pt in words
such as 'ptose' and 'ptosis' (p=0 and t=0), there is a vowel before the
sibilant or between the consonants, [i]sport e p[i]tose. While
heterosyllabic consonantal clusters whose sonority distance falls – [j.t]
jeito 'way' (-4), [r.t] parte 'part' (-3), [l.d] saldo 'balance' (-3),
[n.t] santo 'saint' (-2), [s.p] caspa 'dandruff' (-1) – are faithful to the
input, clusters with plateau or rising sonority distance – ritmo 'rhythm'
(0), [p.s] opção 'option' (+1), [p.n] apneia 'apnea' (+2) – are broken by
an epenthetic vowel, rit[i]mo, op[i]ção, ap[i]neia.

In this analysis, we propose two constraint hierarchies in order to
regulate the sonority distance between segments within a complex onset and
in adjacent syllables: *ONS DIST and *DIST, respectively. We argue that the
interaction among these constraints and faithfulness constraints –
OUTPUT-CONTIGUITY (no internal epenthesis), DEP (no epenthesis) e MAX (no
deletion) (McCarthy & Prince, 1995) – is responsible for the faithful
mapping of the consonantal clusters and for the occurrence of vocalic
epenthesis. Furthermore, we argue that the epenthesis site depends on the
interaction between OUTPUT-CONTIGUITY and *DIST.