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Syllables without vowels: Phonetic and phonological evidence from Tashlhiyt Berber

Abstract : It has been proposed that Tashlhiyt is a language which allows any segment,
including obstruents, to be a syllable nucleus. The most striking and controversial
examples taken as arguments in favour of this analysis involve series of words
claimed to contain only obstruents. This claim is disputed in some recent work,
where it is argued that these consonant sequences contain schwas that can be
syllable nuclei. This article presents arguments showing that vowelless syllables
do exist in Tashlhiyt, both at the phonetic and phonological levels. Acoustic,
fibrescopic and photoelectroglottographic examination of voiceless words (e.g.
[tkkststt]) provide evidence that such items lack syllabic vocalic elements. In addition,
two types of phonological data, metrics and a spirantisation process, are
presented to show that in this language schwa is not a segment which can be
independently manipulated by phonological grammar and which can be referred
to the syllable structure.
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Journal articles
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Contributor : Gwénaëlle Lo Bue Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Monday, May 11, 2009 - 2:45:38 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, October 27, 2021 - 2:43:19 PM
Long-term archiving on: : Thursday, June 10, 2010 - 11:02:18 PM


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  • HAL Id : halshs-00382862, version 1



Rachid Ridouane. Syllables without vowels: Phonetic and phonological evidence from Tashlhiyt Berber. Phonology, 2008, 25, pp.321-359. ⟨halshs-00382862⟩



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