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 development...so 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
(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>.