Chapter published in:Sonic Signatures: Studies dedicated to John Harris
Edited by Geoff Lindsey and Andrew Nevins
[Language Faculty and Beyond 14] 2017
► pp. 278–296
Bogus clusters and lenition in Tuscan Italian
Implications for the theory of sonority
It is widely believed that syllabification is determined by a sonority-driven algorithm like the Sonority Sequencing Principle (Selkirk 1984; Clements 1990, Vaux and Wolfe 2009). In this study, I evaluate this claim in light of Tuscan Italian. Using three phonological diagnostics, it will be possible to split the consonant clusters (CCs) of Tuscan into three types: Branching onset, Coda-Onset and Bogus clusters. Metrical lengthening and Gorgia Toscana filter out Branching onsets leaving behind Coda-onset and Bogus clusters as remnants. Elsewhere, the process known as Epenthesis (in non-standard dialects) filters out the Bogus clusters instead leaving Branching onsets and Coda-Onset clusters as the remnant. Comparing the two sets of remnants allows for the extraction of the Coda-Onset set. Using a Sonority Differential analysis (Parker 2011), it becomes evident (process by process) that sonority is not the primary (or a preferable) mechanism in determining these sets. In seeking an alternative analysis, Gorgia Toscana will be presented in some detail along with its implications for sonority. Gorgia underapplies in Bogus clusters. I will provide a suggestive sketch for a competing representational solution based on Strict CV (in particular Lowenstamm 2003 and Brun-Trigaud & Scheer 2010). Informed in part by Interlude Theory (Steriade 2008), it offers an alternative account for the lenition facts: compressible CCs (Branching onsets) are equivalent to a singleton stop, while non-compressible clusters (Coda-Onset and Bogus clusters) are equivalent to geminates. Unlike sonority based analyses, the phonological definition of the clusters offered here has a clear relationship with the phonological processes that they undergo.
Keywords: consonant clusters, sonority, syllable structure, Italian, Bogus clusters, Gorgia Toscana , metrical lengthening, lenition, strict CV phonology
Published online: 30 November 2017
Brun-Trigaud, G. & T. Scheer
2015 Modelling phonologization. Vowel reduction and epenthesis in Lunigiana dialects. LOT (384). Netherlands Graduate School of Linguistics.
2016 Complex segments in Sardinian: their origin, nature and distribution. Talk at RFP 2016, Nice.
Ségéral, P. & T. Scheer
2008 Metrical evidence for an interlude theory of weight. Talk at Conference on the Syllable . City University of New York.
Cited by 2 other publications
Faust, Noam, Nicola Lampitelli & Shanti Ulfsbjorninn
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