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Re: i cant seem to understand mora

From:Dirk Elzinga <dirk.elzinga@...>
Date:Monday, December 31, 2007, 1:14
On Dec 30, 2007 5:32 PM, Reilly Schlaier <schlaier@...> wrote:

> i cant quite get my head around the idea > why the onset consonant doesnt count > and why the coda is sometimes a mora and sometimes not >
Yes, they are puzzles. It has been argued for one language (I think it was Arrernte) that onsets can be relevant in stress placement. IIRC, the first syllable is stressed unless it has no onset, in which case the second syllable is stressed. But don't quote me on this; I'm pretty fuzzy on the facts and a quick Google check didn't reveal any confirming or contradictory information. As for coda consonants being moraic or not; this is a genuine option allowed languages. For example, codas in Latin are moraic, but codas in Shoshoni are not (Shoshoni is a Uto-Aztecan language spoken throughout much of the North American Great Basin; it is the language I do my field work on). It's usually very easy to tell if a language has moraic codas. If the stress pattern of a language is "quantity-sensitive" (that's the technical term), then stress will be attracted to heavy syllables. If the only syllables that attract stress are those with long vowels but not those with coda consonants, then codas are not moraic. This is exactly what happens in Shoshoni: nátsattàmahkànte 'tied up' óosàantò'ippeh 'rusty' (I'm using the practical orthography: <ts> is an affricate (alveolar for Western Shoshoni, interdental for Goshute), <hk> a voiceless velar fricative, and <e> a high central unrounded vowel; doubly written vowels and consonants are long) Stress in Shoshoni falls on odd-numbered moras, counting from the left edge. Note that while the geminate <tt> in 'tied up' closes the second syllable and opens the third, it doesn't make the second syllable heavy. In 'rusty', the long vowels are stressed because they are each two moras. Dirk


Mark J. Reed <markjreed@...>