Chapter published in:Sonic Signatures: Studies dedicated to John Harris
Edited by Geoff Lindsey and Andrew Nevins
[Language Faculty and Beyond 14] 2017
► pp. 216–230
Segmental loss and phonological representation
This paper discusses how complex onset reduction impacts phonological representation, intending to contribute to the debate on the abrupt or gradual nature of segmental loss. Complex onset reduction involves cases where adjacent consonants occur in the same syllable and can be simplified to a single consonant as in Brazilian Portuguese data: outro ou[tɾ]o > ou[t]o ‘another one’ and brasileiro [bɾ]asileiro > [b]asileiro ‘Brazilian’. We will examine r-loss in complex onsets in Samothraki Greek and Brazilian Portuguese, intending to show that it evolves through different pathways in each language. In Samothraki Greek, complex onset reduction is a regular and productive phonological process, whereas in Brazilian Portuguese complex onset reduction is a variable phenomenon with lexical conditioning. Samothraki Greek complex onset reduction promotes vowel lengthening, which is clearly audible and can be empirically observed by acoustic inspection of spectrograms. In Brazilian Portuguese complex onset reduction also promotes vowel lengthening, but it is not perceived by speakers although it can be examined experimentally. Complex onset reduction in Samothraki Greek interacts with palatalization and vowel centralization in order to prevent opaque forms. On the other hand, in Brazilian Portuguese opaque forms occur as a consequence of palatalization or post-tonic gliding, both of which are related to complex onset reduction. We suggest that complex onset reduction in Samothraki Greek and Brazilian Portuguese provide evidence for either an abrupt or gradual impact of segmental loss on phonological representations.
Keywords: lenition, deletion, cluster reduction, compensatory lengthening, opacity, sound change, Lexical Phonology, Exemplar Model, Brazilian Portuguese, Samothraki Greek
Published online: 30 November 2017
Abaurre, Maria B.M. & Emílio G. Pagotto
2002 A palatalização das oclusivas dentais no português do Brasil. In Gramática do português falado VII: novos estudos descritivos , 557–602. Campinas: Editora da Unicamp.
2013 Efeitos da palatalização das oclusivas alveolares do português brasileiro no percurso de construção da fonologia do inglês língua estrangeira. Tese de Doutorado. UFCE.
Barry, William & Bistra Andreeva
Boersma, Paul & Weenink, David
2016 Praat: doing phonetics by computer [Programa de computador]. Versão 6.0.16. Disponível em: http://www.praat.org/.
Bybee, Joan L.
Carvalho, Ana Maria
Cohn, Abigail C., Cecile Fougeron & Marie K. Huffman
Cole, Jennifer & José I. Hualde
Cristófaro Silva, Thaïs
1992 Nuclear Phenomena in Brazilian Portuguese. PhD thesis. University of London.
Cristófaro Silva, Thaïs & Maria M. Cantoni
Foulkes, Paul & Gerrard J. Docherty
Freitas, Edir R.
2001 Aprendizagem da estrutura silábica CCV: oralidade e escrita. MA dissertation. UFMG.
Li, Fangfang, Jan Edwards & Mary E. Beckman
Mezzomo, Carolina L., Helena B. Mota, Roberta F. Dias & Vanessa Giacchini
Miranda, Izabel C.
2007 Aquisição e variação estruturada de encontros consonantais tautossilábicos. Unpublished PhD Dissertation. Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais.
Munson, Benjamin, Jan Edwards, Sarah Schellinger, Mary Beckman & Marie K. Meyer
2017 Variação em encontros consonantais tautossilábicos no Português Brasileiro. MA thesis. Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais.
Scobbie, James, Fiona Gibbon, William Hardcastle & Paul Fletcher
Topintzi, Nina & Marc van Oostendorp
2009 Palatalization and Centralization in SG. In Proceedings of the 29th Annual Meeting of the Linguistics Department 2008 , 385–399. Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. Downloaded on 20th October 2016 from: http://www.vanoostendorp.nl/pdf/080411samothraki.pdf.