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Estonian Quantity [was: Re: Love Those Double Vowels]

From:Dirk Elzinga <dirk_elzinga@...>
Date:Wednesday, November 7, 2001, 17:51
At 6:39 PM -0500 11/06/01, Nik Taylor wrote:
>Dirk Elzinga wrote: >> lage 'bare' [lake] >> lake 'thin gruel' [lak:e] >> lakke 'to the ceiling' [lak::e] >> sage 'frequent' [sake] >> saage 'get.2p.impf' [sa:ke] >> saage '' [sa::ke] > >Fascinating! Are these extra-long phonemes the result of morphemic >boundaries?
Not exactly. There is some morphological conditioning, but that isn't the only source of overlength. There are some interesting restrictions on the location of overlong segments: 1. overlong segments are only affiliated with a stressed syllable 2. all lexical monosyllables must contain an overlong segment. 3. adjacent stressed syllables are not allowed, unless the first contains an overlong segment 4. a long vowel may not be followed by an overlong consonant, nor may an overlong vowel be followed by a long consonant; all other combinations are possible 5. short and long consonants alternate with overlong consonants in morphologically conditioned gradation, but short consonants never alternate with long consonants 6. if consonant deletion reduces a CVCV sequence to a single syllable, that syllable will contain an overlong vowel These properties of overlong segments (along with a couple of others) led Alan Prince to conclude that syllables with overlong segments constitute complex prosodic feet in and of themselves. Such feet have something like the following structure (best viewed in a monowidth font; (F = 'foot', s = 'syllable', m = 'mora'): F F / \ / \ F m F m | | | | s | s | /|\ | /|\ | ... / m m | / m m | | \|/ | | \|/ | s a [saa:] l a k e [lak:ke] That is, a foot consisting of a monosyllabic bimoraic trochee with an adjoined mora. This conception of the foot and its role in stem gradation has (indirectly) inspired some changes in Tepa prosody, though I don't have overlong segments. Dirk -- Dirk Elzinga "Speech is human, silence is divine, yet also brutish and dead; therefore we must learn both arts." - Thomas Carlyle


And Rosta <a.rosta@...>