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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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Academic Paper

Title: Environmental shielding is contrast preservation
Author: Juliet Stanton
Linguistic Field: Phonology
Subject Language: Pai Tavytera
Guaraní, Eastern Bolivian
Abstract: The term ‘environmental shielding’ has been used to refer to a class of processes in which the phonetic realisation of a nasal stop depends on its vocalic context. In Chiriguano, for example, nasal consonants are realised as such before nasal vowels (/mã/ → [mã]), but acquire an oral release before oral vowels (/ma/ → [mba]). Herbert (1986) claims that shielding protects a contrast between oral and nasal vowels: if Chiriguano /ma/ were realised as [ma], [a] would likely carry some degree of nasal coarticulation, and be less distinct from nasal /ã/. This article provides new arguments for Herbert's position, drawn from a large typological study of South American languages. I argue that environmental shielding is contrast preservation, and that any successful analysis of shielding must make explicit reference to contrast. These results contribute to a growing body of evidence that constraints on contrast are an essential component of phonological theory.


This article appears IN Phonology Vol. 35, Issue 1, which you can READ on Cambridge's site .

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