ESTONIAN ACADEMY
PUBLISHERS
eesti teaduste
akadeemia kirjastus
PUBLISHED
SINCE 1965
 
Linguistica Uralica cover
Linguistica Uralica
ISSN 1736-7506 (Electronic)
ISSN 0868-4731 (Print)

LIVONIAN GRADATION: TYPES AND GENESIS; 45-62

Full article in PDF format

Author
Tiit-Rein Viitso

Abstract

Gradation consists of regular alternations of strong and weak grades of stressed syllables (and corresponding stems and words) in inflected words. In Livonian, gradation concerns words having both a short nuclear vowel and a heavy coda in the first syllable of strong-grade forms. A heavy coda is produced with the broken tone or it contains a phonetically half-long or full-long vowel or consonant in syllables with the plain tone. In weak-grade forms coda is either absent or light. weak-grade forms have a long vowel in the second syllable if the first syllable is short or in the first syllable if this syllable is long. On the basis of co-occurrence in inflectional paradigms of 11 weak- and 6 strong-grade stem types 21 main types of gradational paradigms are established. The emergence of gradation in Livonian is caused mainly by strengthening of coda in initial syllables as a counterbalance to long vowels or diphthong in the second syllable and as a compensation for syncopated and apocopated vowels in the second syllable.


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