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Patterns of (De)glottalization in Nivaĉle
Analía Gutiérrez
176-185 (complete paper or proceedings contents)


Nivaĉle is the only Mataguayan language where glottalization in vowels has been reported as a contrastive feature. Specifically, Stell (1989:97) postulates a phonemic distinction between plain vowels and 'glottalized' vowels. As well, she treats the glottal stop as an independent consonantal phoneme in the language /ʔ/. Contra Stell (1989), it is proposed that there is no phonological opposition between modal vowels vs glottalized vowels; Nivaĉle glottalized vowels are sequences of /Vʔ/, a vowel plus moraic glottal stop with different prosodic parsings. The glottal stop and its associated mora can either attach to the Nucleus of the syllable or to the syllable, in coda position. As a result, two different surface realizations result: (i) rearticulated/creaky vowels (in careful speech or casual speech), and (ii) vowel-glottal coda. Unifying these several properties, it is claimed that Nivaĉle glottalized vowels are underlyingly bimoraic and are licensed by the head of an iambic foot; the Nivaĉle language has a quantity-sensitive stress system. The proposed analysis offers a principled explanation of two prosodic properties related to the distribution and characteristics of Nivaĉle glottalized vowels. First, duration is a statistically significant acoustic property that differentiates modal from creaky/rearticulated vowels in Nivaĉle; the non-modal vowels are (almost) twice as long as their modal counterparts. Second, glottalized vowels consistently deglottalize, that is, they lose their [c.g.] feature (and thus shorten) in unstressed/non-head position.

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