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

Finnic Stop Gradation as an Effect of Mora Sharing; pp. 161-181

Full article in PDF format | doi:10.3176/lu.2011.3.01

Author
Külli Prillop

Abstract

Finnic radical stop gradation affected stop consonants in the onset position of unstressed syllables. The stops were weakened before closed syllables, and remained unweakened before open syllables. Stop gradation, conditioned by whether the following syllable was open or closed, is cross-linguistically extremely rare. In this paper, gradation is argued to be a phonetically natural intervocalic weakening process, which was blocked only in the onsets of open unstressed syllables due to restrictions on moraic structure. Under the proposed account, differences between Finnic languages in terms of gradation depend on the extent to which a specific language tolerated heavy unstressed syllables.


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