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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: Trills, Taps and Stops in Contrast and Variation Add Dissertation
Author: Susan Inouye Update Dissertation
Email: click here to access email
Institution: University of California, Los Angeles, Department of Linguistics
Completed in: 1995
Linguistic Subfield(s): Phonology;
Director(s): Patricia Keating
Peter Ladefoged
Ian Maddieson
Donca Steriade
Henning Andersen

Abstract: In the world's language there is a close relationship among three lingual segment types: tap/flaps, trills, and stops. These segment types are phonetically similar, all involving contact between the tongue tip/blade and the region on/near the alveolar ridge. This dissertation is a typological survey of the phonetic and phonological relationships among these sounds using data from about 65 languages from a broad range of language families, including original phonetic data from about 15 languages. Several case studies are presented which demonstrate that intervocalic tapping of stops is widespread crosslinguistically. Phonetic data show that intervocalic tapping of trills is also widespread. These processes are analyzed as lenition in the temporal and spatial domains. A representation depicting this lenition process as the spreading of aperture is proposed. It is also shown in case studies that not all trills and taps that contrast in a language can be represented as a geminate/singleton pair, so an additional feature is needed to represent this contrast. Incorporating the generalizations about the phonetic relationship between these two segments, a phonetic length feature is proposed. In addition, the allophonic interaction between stops and trills is examined, revealing that in most cases an intermediate stop of tap can be found. In three cases, the trill/stop alternation is phonologized to the extent that the intermediate tap is no longer evident. Also several languages with prestopped trills are examined, leading to the conclusion that they are trills that begin at the closure phase of the vibratory cycle and need no special representation.