In this paper, I will examine a number of New Guinean languages in an attempt to show that [the above] analysis is too simplistic. When determining the markedness of a given segment, it is necessary to examine both paradigmatic and syntagmatic relationships. Paradigmatially, it is undoubtedly true that a nonconsonantal sonorant (i.e. vocoid) unmarked for syllabicity is [+syll]. Syntagmatically, however, there are a number of environments in which a vocoid unmarked for syllabicity is [-syll]. In section 2, I discuss a number of environments in which the unmarked status of a vocoid is [-syll]. Then in section 3, I outline factors which interact with these environments, resulting in syllabic segments where nonsyllabic vocoids are more natural.
Clifton, John M.
Work Papers of the Summer Institute of Linguistics, University of North Dakota Session: Vol. 32, Article 2.
Available at: https://commons.und.edu/sil-work-papers/vol32/iss1/2