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Revitalizing Endangered Languages

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Academic Paper

Title: On the existence of sonority-driven stress in Gujarati
Author: Shu-hao Shih
Linguistic Field: Phonology
Subject Language: Gujarati
Abstract: This paper presents evidence against the existence of sonority-driven stress in Gujarati. Gujarati is one of the clearest and most revealing cases of sonority-driven stress with distinctions among peripheral vowels. A production experiment was performed to determine the accuracy of the claim that [a] attracts stress away from the default position. Of the five types of phonetic evidence examined, only F1 provides clear evidence for stress, revealing stress to be consistently penultimate, and not sonority-driven. As Gujarati is one of the core cases of sonority-driven stress, this finding challenges the claim that it exists. However, this paper does not exclude the possibility that stress may avoid schwa (or central vowels), as reported for several languages. Theoretical and methodological implications are discussed, particularly for theories that have a ‘symmetric effect’ and for descriptions that are impressionistic.


This article appears IN Phonology Vol. 35, Issue 2, which you can READ on Cambridge's site .

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