[Lingtyp] Integration of postposed vowel-initial vs consonant-initial morphemes

Adam James Ross Tallman ajrtallman at utexas.edu
Thu Aug 27 14:57:06 UTC 2020

Hey Hiroto,

There's another example from Chacobo. When the first person singular
appears after the nonpast declarative marker it reduces from *-ɨa *to *-a.*

'I see him/her/them.'

It does not surface as *ɨa* in slow speech, so it seems to be categorical.
It's as Mark was remarking, however. It is not a general rule.

What I wonder here, at least in the case of "syllabification", how you
really know that what you are observing is categorical or even real at all.
Isn't it the case that you would need some phonetic criterion for
identifying syllable boundaries? Do you have one? I've had this problem in
trying to measure tone levels in naturalistic speech where it is very
difficult to always see syllable boundaries at many vowel-vowel junctures
in Praat.



On Thu, Aug 27, 2020 at 2:31 AM Hiroto Uchihara <uchihara at buffalo.edu>

> Dear all,
> I'm aware of the asymmetry between the preposed and postposed morphemes in
> terms of their integration into the prosodic constituent with the stem
> (Himmelman 2014; Asao 2015), but is anyone aware of the difference in the
> level of integration between the vowel-initial vs consonant-initial
> postposed morphemes (suffixes or enclitics)?
> I have been observing that this might be the case in a couple of
> languages, including Teotitlán Zapotec and Alcozauca Mixtec. For instance
> in Teotitlán Zapotec, vowel-initial enclitics are clearly within the domain
> of syllabification, while consonant-initial enclitics are not. In Alcozauca
> Mixtec, it might be the case that vowel-initial enclitics are incorporated
> into the prosodic word, while consonant-initial enclitics are not. Is this
> something commonly reported in the literature?
> I would appreciate any insights.
> Best regards,
> Hiroto
> Asao, Yoshihiko. 2015. *Left-Right Asymmetries in Words: A
> Processing-Based Account*. Ph.D. dissertation, SUNY Buffalo
> Himmelmann, Nikolaus. 2014. Asymmetries in the prosodic phrasing of
> function words: Another look at the suffixing preference. *Language*
> 90(4). 927–960.
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Adam J.R. Tallman
PhD, University of Texas at Austin
Investigador del Museo de Etnografía y Folklore, la Paz
ELDP -- Postdoctorante
CNRS -- Dynamique Du Langage (UMR 5596)
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