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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 Articulatory Basis of Syllable Structure: A study of English glides and liquids Add Dissertation
Author: Bryan Gick Update Dissertation
Email: click here to access email
Institution: Yale University, Department of Linguistics
Completed in: 1999
Linguistic Subfield(s): Phonology;
Subject Language(s): English
Director(s): Louis Goldstein

Abstract: This dissertation contributes to the development of an articulatory gesture-based model of syllable structure. A series of experiments reported here support a view in which English glides and liquids are composed of different types of gestures (C-gestures and V-gestures). Patterned variations in the timing and magnitude of these gestures result in the kinds of patterns we associate with syllables. These findings are shown to offer explanations extending into such diverse realms as allophonic variation, language and dialect typology, speech perception, phonotactics, phonological development, and other phonological phenomena.

In Chapter 2, a magnetometer (EMMA) experiment shows that patterns of timing and magnitude in the component gestures of American English /w/ are similar to patterns previously observed for /l/ and /m/. Results suggest that these segments all comprise both consonant-like and vowel-like gestures. The single gesture of /j/ patterns only with the vowel-like gestures of the other segments. The terms 'C-gesture' and 'V-gesture' are formally defined to account for these patterns. An important finding of this chapter is the observation of an intermediate degree of gestural magnitude in C-gestures, corresponding with partial resyllabification, or ambisyllabicity.

Chapter 3 addresses a number of phonological problems pertaining to English liquids and glides. These include r-vocalization and linking, intrusive r, intrusive l, final and internal r and l epenthesis, and glide formation. It is shown that gestural timing and magnitude generalizations can account for all of these phenomena and many aspects of their historical development and cross-dialectal patterns of occurrence. Additionally, an experiment testing American English /r/ shows similar patterns to /l/ and /w/. This chapter outlines phonological and phonetic evidence for a striking similarity between the V-gestures of /r, l/ and the vowels /(schwa), (open o)/, respectively. This similarity is implicated in the r and l phenomena.

Chapter 4 applies the techniques used in the preceding chapters to /l/ allophones in postvocalic clusters, observing the effect of variations in surrounding material on segment-internal gestural timing. Two conflicting hypotheses for gestural timing are tested based on findings from the literature on 'C-centers' and 'compensatory shortening'. Experimental results indicate that inter-segmental gestural relationships affect timing within segments.