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Re: Ustekkli: a new project (longish)

From:And Rosta <a.rosta@...>
Date:Friday, February 1, 2002, 2:22
> syllable contact > > The driving force of Ustekkli prosody is syllable contact. Syllable > contact refers to the nature of the connection between a vowel and a > following consonant. Two kinds of contact are distinguished: close > contact and loose contact (these are translations of Jespersen's 1912 > 'fester Anschluß' and 'loser Anschluß'). Close contact describes the > connection between a short vowel and a consonant within the same > syllable, while loose contact describes i) the connection between a > long vowel and a consonant within the syllable or ii) the connection > between a vowel of any length and a consonant in the next syllable. > (Trubetzkoy 1939 [1969] discusses this kind of prosodic distinction > and makes the claim that loose contact is the unmarked member of the > pair -- hence its wider distribution.) > > Here is how syllable contact plays out. In Ustekkli, stressed > syllables must be heavy; this is accomplished by gemination or vowel > lengthening. The choice between the two depends on if there is close > contact or loose contact between the vowel of the stressed syllable > and the following consonant. If there is close contact, the consonant > is geminated; this creates a heavy syllable: > > nikk-r /nikr/ ["nIk.k=r] (close contact) > > If there is loose contact between the vowel of the stressed syllable > and the following consonant, the vowel is lengthened, which also > creates a heavy syllable: > > nik-r /nikr/ ["ni:.k=r] (loose contact) > > Alternations between rising and falling diphthongs also depend on > close/loose contact: close contact requires a rising diphthong; loose > contact requires a falling diphthong: > > oatt-n /oatn/ ["wat.t=n] (close contact) > oat-n /oatn/ ["o@_^.t=n] (loose contact) > > The distinction between close and loose contact is represented by > orthographic gemination; a vowel followed by an orthographic geminate > is in close contact with the following consonant, while a vowel which > is not followed by an orthographic geminate is in loose contact with > the following consonant.
I presume that close v. loose contact makes lexical contrasts? But what is the rationale for the analysis in terms of syllable contact? Why not see the oatt:oat contrast as a VCC:VVC contrast that is neutralized if the syllable loses stress? Is it because there are morphological alterations that can toggle a single stem between close and loose, or something like that? If that happens, then the process looks to me like the morphologically-conditioned alternations of the CV template that are famous from Semitic. --And.


Dirk Elzinga <dirk_elzinga@...>