A Typology of Sonority Sequences in Word-Final Consonant Clusters

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  • Topic: Phonology, Phonotactics, Syllable
  • Pages : 51 (14891 words )
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  • Published : December 18, 2012
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Distribution Agreement In presenting this thesis as a partial fulfillment of the requirements for a degree from Emory University, I hereby grant to Emory University and its agents the nonexclusive license to archive, make accessible, and display my thesis in whole or in part in all forms of media, now or hereafter known, including display on the world wide web. I understand that I may select some access restrictions as part of the online submission of this thesis. I retain all ownership rights to the copyright of the thesis. I also retain the right to use in future works (such as articles or books) all or part of this thesis.

Signature: Presley Pizzo [Student’s name typed] 4/11/09 Date

A Typology of Sonority Sequences in Word-Final Consonant Clusters

By

Presley Pizzo

Adviser

Rina Kreitman

Program in Linguistics _________________________ Rina Kreitman Adviser _________________________ Marjorie Pak Committee Member _________________________ Jack Zupko Committee Member ________________________ Date

A Typology of Sonority Sequences in Word-Final Consonant Clusters

By Presley Pizzo Adviser Rina Kreitman

An abstract of A thesis submitted to the Faculty of Emory College of Arts and Sciences of Emory University in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Bachelor of Arts with Honors Program in Linguistics 2009

Abstract A Typology of Sonority Sequences in Word-Final Consonant Clusters By Presley Pizzo Syllable structure across languages appears to be governed by a Sonority Sequencing Principle that states that sonority must fall in syllable codas. However, this principle does not hold for all syllables in all languages. In this study, I examine the

phonotactics of 178 languages in order to find the distribution of word-final biconsonantal clusters that violate this principle. I classify these languages according to the types of clusters they allow. I use this typology to demonstrate that violations of the Sonority Sequencing Principle do not occur randomly, but rather, according to an implicational relationship where the presence of violations in codas implies the presence of compliant codas. However, a language type emerges that does not follow from the Sonority Sequencing Principle. This type allows sonority plateaus of

obstruents but disallows sonority plateaus of sonorants, even though these coda types violate the principle equally. Reviewing the proposals for constraint sets that model the effect of the Sonority Sequencing Principle in Optimality Theory, I conclude that the unequal treatment of these sonority plateaus is best accounted for by a universally fixed ranking between constraints on the sonority of single positions in the syllable.

A Typology of Sonority Sequences in Word-Final Consonant Clusters

By Presley Pizzo Adviser Rina Kreitman

A thesis submitted to the Faculty of Emory College of Arts and Sciences of Emory University in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Bachelor of Arts with Honors Program in Linguistics 2009

Acknowledgments

I could not have written this thesis without the help of my advisor, Rina Kreitman. I am also indebted to my committee members Marjorie Pak and Jack Zupko for their time and advice. I would also like to thank Susan Tamasi, Hilary Prichard, Alessia Waller, Francesco Barale, and my family for their willingness to listen and their support throughout this process.

CONTENTS 1. 2. Introduction....................................................................................................... 1 Theoretical Background.................................................................................... 3 2.1 2.2 2.3 3. The Sonority Sequencing Principle....................................................... 3 Exceptions to the Sonority Sequencing Principle.................................. 5 Defining Clusters................................................................................... 7...
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