Work Papers of the Summer Institute of Linguistics, University of North Dakota Session

Article Title

Nonsyllabic vocoids




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.

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