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It's Been Said Before

By Orin Hargraves

It's Been Said Before "examines why certain phrases become clichés and why they should be avoided -- or why they still have life left in them."

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Sounds Fascinating

By J. C. Wells

How do you pronounce biopic, synod, and Breughel? - and why? Do our cake and archaic sound the same? Where does the stress go in stalagmite? What's odd about the word epergne? As a finale, the author writes a letter to his 16-year-old self.

Academic Paper

Title: Domains and Directionality in the Evolution of German Final Fortition
Author: Gregory K. Iverson
Email: click here TO access email
Institution: University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Author: Joseph C Salmons
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Institution: University of Wisconsin Madison
Linguistic Field: Phonology
Subject Language: German
Abstract: Laryngeal realism (Honeybone 2005) holds that thoroughly voiced stops in a language like Dutch will be represented phonologically with the feature [voice], leaving the voiceless unaspirated stops laryngeally neutral, whereas the typically aspirated stops of a language like German are marked with the feature [spread glottis], rendering the passively voiced stops in this language neutral. These two languages also merge laryngeal oppositions in final environments, Dutch undergoing final devoicing but German final fortition. We apply the findings of Evolutionary Phonology (Blevins 2004, 2006b) to these distinctions in final laryngeal neutralisation, underscoring that the evolutionary approach to phonological alternation allows for non-assimilatory feature addition as well as loss. We examine in particular the known history of final fortition in German and find that the reference standard form of the language has evolved an alignment condition to the effect that a fortified syllable edge must match up with the morpheme edge.


This article appears IN Phonology Vol. 24, Issue 1.

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