Lawrence A. Reid reid at
Wed Apr 12 23:41:36 UTC 2000

A delayed response to add to the several comments that have appeared about
geminates.  It is clear that one needs to maintain a distinction between
length or duration, as a phonetic feature of consonants, and gemination,
which is the phonemic interpretation of duration across syllable boundaries.
Length and gemination usually coincide, but not necessarily so.  Bontok, a
Central Cordillean language of the northern Philippines has phonemic
geminates of every consonant in the language, including glottal stop and the
glides, w and y.  They all contrast with lexical items with single (syllable
initial) consonants. This does not  mean however that every consonant in the
language is phonetically long.  The voiced  stops have pre-vocalic (i.e.,
syllable initial) voiceless variants, so that /bb/ is [bf], /dd/ is [dts]
and /gg/ is [gkh].  There are no phonetically long voiced stops, but there
are geminate voiced stops in the language.

Laurie Reid

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