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Academic Paper

Title: An analysis of North Saami gradation
Author: Berit Anne Bals Baal
Institution: University of Tromsø - The Arctic University of Norway
Author: David Odden
Email: click here TO access email
Institution: Ohio State University
Author: Curt Rice
Email: click here TO access email
Institution: University of Tromsø - The Arctic University of Norway
Linguistic Field: Phonology
Subject Language: Sami, Northern
Abstract: This paper gives a moraic analysis of gemination and laryngeal alternations associated with consonant gradation in North Saami. Gradation gives rise to a surface three-way length distinction in consonants, which is essential to understanding length in vowels and diphthongs. It is explained by a system of prosodic rules applying to underlying representations containing only a two-way contrast between geminate and singleton consonants, plus a floating mora present in certain suffixes, which results in surface alternations between extra-long and long or between long and short consonants. An enlightening explanation of quantity alternations is available if one exploits the possibility implicit in moraic theory that the relationship between segments and moras can be surface-contrastive, and we show that recourse to trimoraic syllables is unnecessary, despite the surface three-way length difference. These prosodic alternations also result in shifts in the timing of preaspiration and preglottalisation, as well as loss of these laryngeal specifications.


This article appears IN Phonology Vol. 29, Issue 2, which you can READ on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .

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