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It's Been Said Before

By Orin Hargraves

It's Been Said Before "examines why certain phrases become clichés and why they should be avoided -- or why they still have life left in them."

New from Cambridge University Press!


Sounds Fascinating

By J. C. Wells

How do you pronounce biopic, synod, and Breughel? - and why? Do our cake and archaic sound the same? Where does the stress go in stalagmite? What's odd about the word epergne? As a finale, the author writes a letter to his 16-year-old self.

Academic Paper

Title: Questioning the universality of the syllable: evidence from Japanese
Author: Laurence Labrune
Institution: Université Bordeaux 1
Linguistic Field: Phonology; Typology
Subject Language: Japanese
Abstract: This paper reexamines the issue of the mora, the foot and the syllable in Tokyo Japanese, and shows that whereas the mora and the foot are indisputably present and active, the evidence for the syllable is inconspicuous and disputable. Building on this observation, I claim that Tokyo Japanese makes no use of the syllable. Instead, two types of mora are distinguished: regular CV moras and weak (deficient) moras. Weak moras include the moraic nasal, the first part of a geminate and the second part of a long vowel, as well as moras containing an onsetless vowel, a devoiced vowel or an epenthetic vowel. I further argue that feet obey a set of structural constraints stipulating that they be properly headed by a regular full mora. With this enriched notion of mora type, the paper argues that neither the syllable nor any other level of the prosodic hierarchy is obligatory in all languages.


This article appears IN Phonology Vol. 29, Issue 1.

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