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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.

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

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