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Shaping Phonology$
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Diane Brentari and Jackson L. Lee

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780226562452

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226562599.001.0001

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Sonority Waves in Syllabification

Sonority Waves in Syllabification

(p.182) Eight Sonority Waves in Syllabification
Shaping Phonology

Caroline Wiltshire

University of Chicago Press

The current emphasis on markedness constraints in phonology has deep historical roots in the development of syllable phonotactics, with sonority playing a salient role from the beginning. Goldsmith (2011) points to the use of sonority in syllabification dating back to pre-generativists Panini, Whitney (1874), Jesperson (1904), and Pike (1947) among others. In his review of the concept of “syllable”, Goldsmith concludes “Sonority, and the wave-like recurrence of peaks of sonority, seems to me to be the fundamental pattern of syllabification in language” (2011: 29). The use of waves can be compared and contrasted to the use of constituent structure for modelling the role of sonority in phonology, via examples such as syllabification and alternations within L1s, adaptations of words borrowed from L2s, and acquisition of L2s syllables and consonant clusters. While phonotactics in terms of syllable constituents can be developed to account for (most of) these examples, the sonority wave approach provides not only an account, but also a motivation.

Keywords:   sonority, syllable, constituent, borrowing, acquisition

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