Schwa Epenthesis

Schwa Epenthesis-43
In this paper, we use articulatory measures to determine whether Dutch schwa epenthesis is an abstract phonological process or a concrete phonetic process depending on articulatory timing.We examine tongue position during /l/ before underlying schwa and epenthetic schwa and in coda position.

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A lot of subtheories of phonology are at stake -- syllable structure theory, stress theory, the theory of (sub)segmental representation, and of interaction between segments -- and the questions surrounding schwa therefore will probably not be resolved until the perfect theory of phonology has been discovered.

On the other hand, schwa offers an excellent testcase for many theories of phonology.

It therefore should come as no surprise that the vowel has been studied intensively within various branches of generative phonology.

This article offers an overview of some of the ideas that have been proposed and some of the facts that have been discovered over the past thirty years.

I do not think the taxonomy just presented should be awarded any theoretical status: a schwa may change its behaviour over the years, and indeed we also find cases where a vowel is e-schwa and r-schwa at the same time (as in the French paradigm appeler [[email protected]] `to call' j'appelle [ZAp El] `I call').

The classification is presented here because it helps to distinguish the various roles that schwa can play in the phonology of a language.We use cookies to make interactions with our website easy and meaningful, to better understand the use of our services, and to tailor advertising.For further information, including about cookie settings, please read our Cookie Policy .We find greater tip raising before both types of schwa, indicating light /l/ before schwa and dark /l/ in coda position.We argue that the ability of epenthetic schwa to condition the /l/ alternation shows that Dutch schwa epenthesis is an abstract phonological process involving insertion of some unit, and cannot be accounted for within Articulatory Phonology.It can only occur in a simple type of syllable; or it is invisible for the stress system; or it is epenthetic; or it is the result of reduction; etc.Linguistic theory has to explain this special behaviour of schwa: why is it exactly this segment which behaves in exactly this way in so many languages?Before we can study the behaviour of schwa in natural language, it may be useful to go into the question of how the segment should be represented phonologically.Schwa is special not only from the point of view of phonological theory.Contact us if you experience any difficulty logging in.If a language has schwa in its vowel inventory, this segment usually has a special role to play in the phonology of the language.


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