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Syllabic consonants (was: Re: Beek)

From:Isidora Zamora <isidora@...>
Date:Monday, September 15, 2003, 18:12
At 12:20 PM 9/15/03 -0400, you wrote:
>On Mon, Sep 15, 2003 at 11:47:12AM -0400, Isidora Zamora wrote: > > it, the word <karm>, 'shield" is pronounced in two syllables. (The word > > should properly be written with an accent over the <a> to indicate stress > > on the first syllable.) As a matter of fact, the /m/ is syllabic here > > because liquid plus nasal clusters in the syllable coda are illegal, to the > > illegal cluster is broken up by making the m syllabic. > >So the /r/ is not syllabic here? Is it ever?\
The /r/ *is* syllabic in <karm>, and the word should be divided as kar-m. But if the word were to have a suffix beginning in a vowel added to it, then the /r/ would cease to be syllabic, moving into the onset of the second syllable. Let's see...I need an example, and I don't have one because this language is in the *very* early stages of why don't I just make up a case ending on the spot? How about -ab? Then we get <karmab> 'very many shields', divided into syllables as kar-mab. If I make up another case ending on the spot for the sake of demonstrating the behavior of sonorant consonants in clusters, I could make up the case ending -dim. We would get <karmdim> 'a few shields.' It is a 3-syllable word divided thus: kar-m-dim. Here the /m/ remains syllabic because it is illegal to have /rm/ as a syllable coda or /rd/ as a syllable onset. The only alternative is to make /m/ it's own syllable. Maybe what was confusing was that I said that /rm/ is an illegal consonant cluster in the syllable coda. Illegal consonant clusters have to be either reduced or broken up in some way, and in *this* language the way of doing that with a liquid+nasal cluster is to make the nasal syllabic so that it isn't trying to share the coda with the liquid anymore. (In English, of course, a liquid+nasal cluster in the coda is no problem and perfectly pronouncable.) In Trehelish, a neighboring (but unrelated) language, liquid +nasal clusters in the syllable coda are also illegal, but Trehelish breaks them up by inserting an epenthetic echo vowel, (Trehelish also doesn't have syllabic consonants) so a Trehel would mispronounce the Cwendaso word <karm> as <kharam>. (The <kh> is there because the Trehelish heavily aspiriate their voiceless stops in all positions, while the Cwendaso voiceless stops are unaspirated. A Cwendaso would have the tendency to hear the [k_h] as [x], which is the sound represented by the spelling <kh>.) (Is this all as clear as mud now?)
> > there is the minimal pair <mta> and <mta>, > > one of them stressed on the syllabic /m/ the other stressed on the > > <ai>. > >Did you mean <a>, or is there an <i> I don't see up there?
Sorry, that is a typo. Nothing wrong with your vision; something wrong in my head. There is no <i> in the root word. It should read <a>. Isidora


Mark J. Reed <markjreed@...>
JS Bangs <jaspax@...>
Isidora Zamora <isidora@...>
Isidora Zamora <isidora@...>