Publishing Partner: Cambridge University Press CUP Extra Publisher Login

New from Cambridge University Press!


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."

E-mail this page 1

We Have a New Site!

With the help of your donations we have been making good progress on designing and launching our new website! Check it out at!
***We are still in our beta stages for the new site--if you have any feedback, be sure to let us know at***

Dissertation Information

Title: The Role of Segmental Sandhi in the Parsing of Speech: Evidence from Greek Add Dissertation
Author: Giorgos Tserdanelis Update Dissertation
Email: click here to access email
Institution: Ohio State University, Department of East Asian Languages and Literature
Completed in: 2005
Linguistic Subfield(s): Phonetics;
Subject Language(s): Greek, Modern
Director(s): Brian Joseph
Mary Beckman

Abstract: Spoken languages, in addition to having inventories of distinctive sound segments can also employ variants of these sounds to distinguish word- or phrase-internal segments from those that occur at the edges of such meaningful units. When allophonic variants that normally mark word-internal positions occur at word or phrase edges, this could be indicative of a higher-than-normal degree of cohesion between two adjacent words or phrases.

These segmental changes between words or phrases are called (external) segmental sandhi. The nature and range of variation in the pronunciation of these allophonic segments may be influenced by factors such as speech rate and casual versus careful style and how these extra-grammatical properties interact with the aerodynamic and coarticulatory patterns of the target sounds but also by the intonationally-marked prosodic and syntactic structure of utterances.

This dissertation examines the relationship between prosodic and syntactic structure and segmental allophonic processes (sandhi) at the edges of words in Greek, a language with a rich inventory of such segmental processes. In particular, it investigates the exact phonetic nature of segmental sandhi in an effort to understand whether such processes can result in deterministically categorical segmental changes or in more probabilistic and continuous variation. It also examines whether such segmental processes have an effect on the processing of structurally ambiguous sentences, in order to establish whether the various outcomes of segmental sandhi can be correlated with particular morphosyntactic structures.

The establishment of these facts for Greek contributes to understanding and explaining how languages may incorporate external sandhi processes into their morpho-phonological structure and how speakers and listeners may exploit them in the production and parsing of speech.