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Bookmark and Share Paper 3221

Phonotactic Evidence from Typology and Acquisition for a Coda+Onset Analysis of Initial sC Clusters
Heather Goad
17-28 (complete paper or proceedings contents)

Abstract

Recent research in phonology has moved away from the position that syllables are internally structured. In this literature, differences in the phonological behaviour of obstruent-initial (play) versus s-initial (stay, slay) clusters, which were formerly used to motivate a difference in representation, are proposed to be explained solely by perceptual considerations. In this paper, a structural approach to syllable well-formedness is returned to, but one which is informed by perceptual considerations. Although perceptual factors account for why s can be followed by stops in sC clusters, a perceptual approach to syllable well-formedness cannot explain why s+stop is the optimal sC cluster nor why the cluster worsens as the sonority of C increases. It is shown that these observations follow straightforwardly from a coda+onset analysis of sC clusters (following Kaye 1992), coupled with the Syllable Contact Law (Murray & Vennemann 1983). The paper then explores the predictions that stem from a coda+onset analysis of sC clusters for second language acquisition. It is shown that in the acquisition of a subset grammar, learners exposed only to the ill-formedness of s+stop correctly infer the ill-formedness of s+sonorant, consistent with a coda+onset analysis of these clusters, in combination with syllable contact.

Published in

Proceedings of the 33rd West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics
edited by Kyeong-min Kim, Pocholo Umbal, Trevor Block, Queenie Chan, Tanie Cheng, Kelli Finney, Mara Katz, Sophie Nickel-Thompson, and Lisa Shorten
Table of contents
Printed edition: $375.00