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Linguistic Universals and Language Change$
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Jeff Good

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199298495

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199298495.001.0001

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Consonant Epenthesis: Natural and Unnatural Histories

Consonant Epenthesis: Natural and Unnatural Histories

(p.79) 4 Consonant Epenthesis: Natural and Unnatural Histories
Linguistic Universals and Language Change

Juliette Blevins

Oxford University Press

This chapter argues that there are clear natural and unnatural histories for patterns of consonant insertion which make no reference to syllable onset or segmental markedness. It offers new ways of understanding the typology of C-epenthesis. Within the realm of natural history, glide epenthesis and laryngeal epenthesis are two distinct subtypes with different phonetic and phonological profiles. In the domain of unnatural histories, significant correlations are observed between consonants subject to coda weakening and those involved in epenthesis. This finding follows from our understanding of rule inversion as part of phonological acquisition. Finally, a mix of natural and unnatural history characterizes the analysis of Oceanic j-accretion and Ritwan l-sandhi.

Keywords:   consonant insertion, natural history, unnatural history, C-epenthesis, j-accretion, l-sandhi

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