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Re: syllable cut prosody [was: Re: Swedish vowel phonemes]

From:Roger Mills <romilly@...>
Date:Thursday, February 13, 2003, 4:26
Dirk Elzinga wrote:
> If consonant length is predictable (gemination occurs to make a light
syllable heavy under stress), and vowel length is predictable (vowels are lengthened to make a light syllable heavy under stress), maybe the real distinction is syllable cut. Syllables with loose contact will lengthen the vowel under stress, while syllables with close contact will geminate the consonant. Syllables which are closed are characterized by close contact in any case and can be stressed without any type of lengthening.
> > A pair of words from Norwegian may be helpful in illustrating the
> > /hake/ 'chin' becomes ['ha:.k@] -- loose contact > /hake/ 'pickaxe' becomes ['hak.k@] -- close contact > > Both forms have the same underlying segmental structure; they differ only
in the syllable cut distinction. With syllable cut prosody, you get to keep your small vowel inventory, since lengthening is predictable under stress for syllables in loose contact; and you don't need to commit to underlying geminates, since gemination is predictable under stress for syllables in close contact.
Admittedly I'm mired in the generative tradition, but where/when would one specify that one "hake" has close contact, the other "hake" has loose? Seems to me that's adding another, rather squishy, feature to the ULR, so why not just opt for shortness (of V) OR tenseness (of C); or even plus/minus TENSE for vowels, with a morpheme structure rule that specifies +tense cons. (and vice versa), or a cluster, after -tense V?


Dirk Elzinga <dirk_elzinga@...>