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Emancipating lenes

A reanalysis of English obstruent clusters

Acta Linguistica Academica
Author: Péter Szigetvári

Abstract

I argue that English has no voicing assimilation, in fact, it does not have phonologically voiced segments at all. Voicing in English is spontaneous in sonorants, while obstruents may be phonetically voiced only if lenis and surrounded by spontaneously or passively voiced sounds. The paper claims that most obstruent clusters of English are traditionally misanalysed as fortis+fortis clusters. These clusters are all either fortis+lenis or lenis+fortis; in fact, fortis+fortis clusters are completely ruled out in English.

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There are several phonological categories whose markedness-as inferred from typical markedness metrics- fails to match the representational complexity posited for them. More specifically, glottal stops, geminate clusters, and onsetless syllables are representationally the simplest of their category, yet other criteria, like implicational hierarchies, mark them as special. This paper aims at comprehending this paradox.

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Abstract

Following Trager & Bloch (1941), I argue that diphthongs in English are short vowels followed by a glide, that is, a consonant (Szigetvári 2016). In the present paper, I bring further evidence for this claim, based on the distribution of unstressed vowels in British English.

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Abstract

We survey templatic diminutive formation in Hungarian. We conclude that there is an intricate system of endings that are added to bases which are truncated if they contain more than one vowel. Bases are also subject to vowel length changes in both directions, as well as the palatalization of the last consonant. The templatic diminutive forms are not subject to vowel harmony occurring in suffixes which prevails in the regular additive morphology of the language. Nevertheless, these forms conform to the vowel patterns found in disyllabic monomorphemic or disyllabic suffixed word forms.

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Acta Linguistica Academica
Authors: Zoltán G. Kiss and Péter Szigetvári
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Acta Linguistica Hungarica
Authors: Hans Luschützky, Szilárd Tátrai, Péter Szigetvári, Krisztina Károly, and Erika Schmidt
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