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STUF - Language Typology and Universals

Sprachtypologie und Universalienforschung

Editor-in-Chief: Stolz, Thomas

CiteScore 2018: 0.42

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.231
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.343

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Volume 67, Issue 1


Tashlhiyt's ban of complex syllable onsets: phonetic and perceptual evidence

Rachid Ridouane / Anne Hermes / Pierre Hallé
Published Online: 2014-04-11 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/stuf-2014-0002


Tashlhiyt is famous for its particularly marked syllable structure. Unlike the majority of world languages, including some related Berber varieties, Tashlhiyt allows not only vowels but all consonants – including voiceless stops /t/, /k/ or /q/ – to be nuclei of a syllable (e.g., [tkmi] `she smoked' is analyzed as bisyllabic where the sequence [tk] stands for a syllable of its own with /k/ as the nucleus). A fundamental aspect of this analysis concerns constraints on the syllable onset constituent: complex onsets are prohibited. A consequence of this is that prevocalic consonant clusters are systematically parsed as heterosyllabic, regardless of the sonority profile of the consonants and the position of the cluster within a word or a phrase. This study provides phonetic and metalinguistic data to test this phonological account on experimental grounds. The analysis of these data provides clear evidence that Tashlhiyt disallows complex syllable onsets.

Keywords: Tashlhiyt; syllable; complex onset; articulation; perception

About the article

Published Online: 2014-04-11

Published in Print: 2014-04-01

Citation Information: STUF - Language Typology and Universals, Volume 67, Issue 1, Pages 7–20, ISSN (Online) 2196-7148, ISSN (Print) 1867-8319, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/stuf-2014-0002.

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