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Abstract

This paper proposes a novel representation of branching onsets within the framework of Government Phonology 2. They are argued to be complex onset phrases, where the second member is directly embedded within the first and controls its head. The system predicts that for fricatives, the ability to become the first member of a branching onset depends on their place of articulation. In particular, [s]-like fricatives (S) are predicted to lack this ability, thereby explaining Kaye’s (1992) empirical generalization that SC clusters are never branching onsets.

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