This paper discusses the notion of "onsets" within the Onset Prominence representational environment (OP; e.g. Schwartz 2010, 2013), with empirical focus on the representation of glides and initial vowels. Both glides and initial vowels have been shown to exhibit ambiguous behavior across languages, which has been problematic for representational theories based on a linear string of segments. The OP environment is based on a hierarchy of phonetic events, incorporating structural ambiguities that may serve as parameter settings for the dual behavior of both glides and initial vowels. This approach eliminates the need for an ONSET constraint, and offers an explicit reference point by which the concept of markedness in prosodic structure may be defined.
© Faculty of English, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań, Poland, 2012