Iberian spirantization as a syllable contact process



Argitaratua api 2, 1995
María M. Carreira


This paper examines Spanish spirantization as a syllable contact phenomenon subject to the Syllable Preference Laws proposed by Murray and Venneman (1987). It proposes a rule that assigns the feature [+continuant] to a voiced obstruent, provided that a minimum sonority distance is maintained between the obstruent as a spirant and a preceding rhyme. Otherwise, the obstruent receives the specification [-continuant]. The minimum sonority difference between an onset and a preceding segment is subject to dialectal and stylistic variation, ranging from a distance of two, in spirantizing dialects, to a distance of seven, in dialects that show a preference for stops. This approach allows us to explain the range of variation inherent in Spanish spirantization as well as the right-environment conditions of Portuguese and Catalan spirantization.

How to Cite

Carreira, María M. 1995. «Iberian Spirantization As a Syllable Contact Process». Anuario Del Seminario De Filología Vasca "Julio De Urquijo" 29 (2-3):545-58. https://doi.org/10.1387/asju.8493.
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