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The Work of Syllable Structure or Linear Sequence? Ranjan Sen University of Oxford.

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Presentation on theme: "The Work of Syllable Structure or Linear Sequence? Ranjan Sen University of Oxford."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Work of Syllable Structure or Linear Sequence? Ranjan Sen University of Oxford

2 Phonotactics: Two Approaches Syllable Approach Linear Approach Range of contrasts in an environment attributed to position within syllable Range of contrasts in an environment attributed to linear segmental sequence alone Which approach tackles best the diachronic phonotactic development seen in the history of Latin? 2

3 Phonotactic Relevance of the Syllable in Latin Notions well-formed onset and well-formed coda required in syllabification 3 Word-based Syllable Hypothesis : i ː n.síg.nis notable supported by accent-placement, but /g/ not found word-finally, whereas /gn/ found word-initially (gna ː rus having knowledge of)

4 Regardless of syllabification: plebs people = [pleps] Voice Assimilation Regular regressive assimilation in biconsonantal sequences (C 1 C 2 ) Stop + stop: *scri ː b-to-s > scri ː ptus written, obtinui ː I obtained = [pt], e.g. OPTINVI Stop + fricative: *nu ː bsi ː > nu ː psi ː I married Fricative + stop: *is-dem > *izdem > i ː dem same Every obstruent in a consonantal sequence agrees in voice regardless of syllabification 4

5 Place and Frication The Place Hierarchy: Dorsal > Labial > Coronal Stop C 1 lower than or level with C 2 on hierarchy assimilates to C 2 in place and frication Syllable Approach: codas stops unspecified for coronal place regardless of the environment, and labial place if followed by dorsal stop clearly unsatisfactory: no motivation for recourse to syllabic position – linear sequence is necessary and sufficient C 2 C 1 DorLabCor Dor *ec-ce > ecce look! ec-p ː ono ː I bring out (= expo ː ono ː ) lact-is milk (gen.) + fricative (no dorsal fricative) ec-fero ː (Plautus) I carry out *deik-si ː > [di ː ksi ː ] I said Lab *ob-kaido ː > occi ː do ː I knock down *ob-peto ː > oppeto ː I encounter prematurely optimus best + fricative (no dorsal fricative) opi-fici ː na > *opfici ː na > offici ː na workshop *nu ː b-si ː > nu ː psi ː I married Cor *hod-ce > *hocce > hoc this (neut.) *quid-pe > quippe for *pat-tos > *patsos > passus suffered + fricative (no dorsal fricative) ad-fero ː > affero ː I deliver *quat-si ː > quassi ː I shook = regressive place and frication assimilation 5

6 Manner The Manner Hierarchy: (for place assimilation) Fricative > Stop > Nasal 6 Fricative C 1 before fricative C 2 only obeying Place Hierarchy *disfacilis > difficilis difficult Stop C 1 before C 2 of any manner obeying Place Hierarchy *quidpe > quippe for; adfero ː > affero ː I deliver, *kaidmentom > cae(m)mentum rubble Nasal C 1 before any obstruent C 2 regardless of Place Hierarchy before nasal C 1 obeying Place Hierarchy *kemtom > centum hundred, *in-maneo ː > immineo ː I overhang; threaten vs. autumnus autumn

7 Nasality Nasal C 2 C 1 LabCor Dor*sekmentom > segmentum = [gm] piece *deknos > dignus = [ŋn] worthy Lab*supmos > summus highest *swepnos > somnus sleep Cor*kaidmentom > *caimmentum > caementum rubble *atnos > annus year Nasal C 2 nasalises stop C 1, which also assimilates in place to C 2 obeying Place Hierarchy Exception: failure of nasal assimilation in Dor + /m/ Again, Syllable Approach unsatisfactory Better starting-point: linear configuration Dor + /m/ Cf. early epenthesis: Greek dráchma drac(h)uma Greek coin, tegmen > tegimen/tegumen covering 7 = regressive nasal assimilation = regressive nasal and place assimilation = no nasal or place assimilation

8 Hypothesis – Linear Sequence Feature x, if poorly cued relative to adjacent more robustly cued feature, is neutralised and assimilated to adjacent more robustly cued feature External cue: release into vowel, thus C 2 features usually more robustly cued than C 1 features Internal cue: Place Hierarchy – Dor > Lab > Cor Internal cue: Manner Hierarchy for place feature – Fricative > Stop > Nasal 8

9 Scale for occurrence of contrasts No voice No place Manner Nasal before obstr No voice Place if place hierarchy admits Manner if place hierarchy admits Obstr before fricative No voice Place if place hierarchy admits Stop before stop No voice Place if place hierarchy admits No manner ex. Dor + /m/ Other C before nasal No voice Place Manner Fricative before nasal/ stop Voice Place Manner all with exceptions Before liquid Voice Place Manner (with exception) Before vowel 9 More contrastsFewer contrasts

10 Sonorants appear before C 2 of any voice specification comparo ː : combibo ː verpa : verbum sonorants unspecified for voice pre-consonantally Nasal C 2 triggers voicing of C 1 : *sekmentom > segmentum nasals voice-specified pre-vocalically Liquid C 2 allows voice contrast in C 1 : capra : cri ː brum liquids unspecified for voice pre-vocalically BUT /s/ > [z] post-vocalically before voiced consonant, including liquids: *preslom > [prezlom] > pre ː lum liquids voice-specified pre-vocalically?? 10

11 Sonorant Voice Specification Voicing of /r/ at early stage Early merger in Latin of /sr/ and [ðr] inherited from Proto-Italic: *fu ː nesris > fu ː nebris funereal Voiced epenthetic stop before /r/ vs. voiceless epenthetic stop before /l, n/: *g h eimrinos > *heimbrinos > hi ː bernus wintry vs. *exemlom > exemplum example, autumnus > autumpnus autumn /l,m,n/ became voice-specified later (in archaic period) /s/ before /l,m,n/ > [z] (with consequent loss of [z] + compensatory lengthening of the preceding vowel): *preslom > pre ː lum wine-/oil-press, cosmis > co ː mis friendly, *casnos > ca ː nus white(-haired) voice-specified? capra vs. cri ː brum? 11

12 Return of the Syllable : TR Onsets Divergent syllabifications of identical sequence: *po.plos > populus people * > poblikos > pu ː blicus public Why does liquid C 2 allow preceding voice contrast if voice-specified? Unspecified if in stop + liquid onset (not σ-initial) Phonetically based: incline vs. ink-like 12

13 Morphological Pressures More thoroughgoing regressive assimilation in prefix + verbal root contacts *sub-rego ː > surrigo ː I rise vs. e ː brius drunk More faithful retention of root shape elsewhere in verbal morphology *sum-to-s > *sumptus assumed vs. *kemtom > centum hundred Some morpheme boundaries conditioned syllable boundaries, thus determining the voicing of sonorants *nek-lego ː > neg.le.go ː I neglect vs. Aiscla ː pius, po ː clum 13

14 Latin phonotactic development driven by linear segmental sequence, not syllable structure Relevant parameters include internal factors (manner and place hierarchies) and external factors (release features, coarticulatory cues) Syllables relevant in distribution of voice in sonorants Morphology could directly override phonetic considerations in phonotactics, and indirectly via syllable structure Only direct influence of syllable structure in Latin phonotactics is in determining what onsets/codas are well-formed 14

15 Diachronic Phonotactic Development in Latin Ranjan Sen Linguistics, Philology and Phonetics University of Oxford, U.K.

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