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Extra Syllabic Consonants

From:Chris Bates <chris.maths_student@...>
Date:Thursday, September 15, 2005, 10:52
I posted this on the ZBB, but I'm interested in extra syllabicity and
anything anyone can say about it, so I'd love to hear from anyone here too:

At various times I've read about extra syllabic consonants in
descriptions of languages, and it came up recently with bella coola when
we were talking about it on the conlang list. Someone linked to:

which argues that many of the long clusters of consonants in Bella Coola
are extra syllabic, and indeed that famous words from the language like the

“he had had in his possession a bunchberry

which contain only obstruents have no syllables whatsoever. Similar
ideas about extra syllabic consonants for various languages are
discussed in:

and there's also a mention of similar ideas in an old conlang list message:

Also, interestingly enough, in a book I bought a long long time ago
called "A Course In Phonology" (Roca and Johnson) when applying the
developed ideas to describing the shape of words in English they adopt
an approach to explain word final consonant clusters that allows one
consonant at the end of the word to be extrasyllabic.
So what does everyone think? I remember an argument I had with Ahribar a
while ago about syllables and Bella Coola and whether some of the
consonants were syllabic or not... do you believe in extrasyllabicity?
Do you think that an analysis that says that xłp̓x̣ʷłtłpłłs has no
syllables is correct?


R A Brown <ray@...>
David J. Peterson <dedalvs@...>