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."

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***

Academic Paper

Title: Co-occurrence restrictions on identical consonants in the Hebrew lexicon: are they due to similarity?
Author: Iris Berent
Institution: Northeastern University
Author: Joseph Shimron
Institution: University of Haifa
Linguistic Field: Morphology; Phonology
Subject Language: Hebrew
Abstract: It is well known that Semitic languages restrict the co-occurrence of identical and homorganic consonants in the root. The IDENTITY HYPOTHESIS attributes this pattern to distinct constraints on identical and nonidentical homorganic consonants (e.g. McCarthy 1986, 1994). Conversely, the SIMILARITY HYPOTHESIS captures these restrictions in terms of a single monotonic ban on perceived similarity (Pierrehumbert 1993; Frisch, Broe and Pierrehumbert 1997). We compare these accounts by examining the acceptability of roots with identical and homorganic consonants at their end. If well-formedness is an inverse, monotonic function of similarity, then roots with identical (fully similar) consonants should be less acceptable than roots with homorganic (partially similar) consonants. Contrary to this prediction, Hebrew speakers prefer root final identity to homorganicity. Our results suggest that speakers encode long-distance identity among root radicals in a manner that is distinct from feature similarity.


This article appears IN Journal of Linguistics Vol. 39, Issue 1.

Return to TOC.

Add a new paper
Return to Academic Papers main page
Return to Directory of Linguists main page