Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Palatalization and “strong i” across Inuit dialects

  • Richard Compton (a1) and B. Elan Dresher (a1)

Abstract

Inuit dialects with palatalization all distinguish between “strong i” and “weak i”: instances of surface [i] that cause palatalization and those that do not, respectively. All dialects that have completely lost this contrast also lack palatalization. Why are there no /i, a, u/ dialects in which all instances of surface [i] trigger palatalization? We propose that this typological gap can be explained using a contrastivist analysis whereby only contrastive features can be phonologically active, palatalization is triggered by [coronal], and contrastive features are assigned in an order placing [low] and [labial] ahead of [coronal]. In a three-vowel inventory only [low] and [labial] are contrastive, while in the four-vowel inventory [coronal] must also be contrastive to distinguish strong and weak i. It follows from these assumptions that [i] can trigger palatalization only if it is in contrast with a fourth vowel.

Résumé

Les dialectes inuits avec palatalisation distinguent tous entre les «i forts» et les «i faibles» : les [i] de surface qui provoquent la palatalisation et ceux qui ne la provoquent pas, respectivement. Dans tous les dialectes où ce contraste est complètement perdu, la palatalisation est absente. Pourquoi n’existe-t-il pas de dialectes /i, a, u/ dans lesquels tous les [i] de surface déclenchent la palatalisation? Nous proposons que cet écart typologique peut être expliqué en utilisant une approche contrastiviste selon laquelle seuls les traits contrastifs peuvent être actifs dans la phonologie, la palatalisation est déclenchée par [coronal] et les traits contrastifs sont ordonnés de telle façon que les traits [bas] et [labial] sont assignés avant [coronal]. Dans un inventaire de trois voyelles, seuls les traits [bas] et [labial] sont contrastifs, tandis que dans un inventaire de quatre voyelles, [coronal] doit aussi être contrastif pour distinguer les i forts des i faibles. Il résulte de ces hypothèses que [i] ne peut déclencher la palatalisation que s’il est en contraste avec une quatrième voyelle.

Copyright

References

Hide All
Anderson, John M. 2005. Old English i-umlaut (for the umpteenth time). English Language and Linguistics 9:195227.
Anderson, John M. and Ewen, Colin J.. 1987. Principles of dependency phonology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Archangeli, Diana and Pulleyblank, Douglas. 1994. Grounded phonology. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Avery, Peter and Rice, Keren. 1989. Segment structure and coronal underspecification. Phonology 6:179200.
Calabrese, Andrea. 1995. A constraint-based theory of phonological markedness and simplification procedures. Linguistic Inquiry 26:373463.
Calabrese, Andrea. 2005. Markedness and economy in a derivational model of phonology. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
Carr, Philip, Durand, Jacques, and Ewen, Colin J., eds. 2005. Headhood, elements, specification and contrastivity: Phonological papers in honour of John Anderson. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
Cherry, E. Colin, Halle, Morris, and Jakobson, Roman. 1953. Toward the logical description of languages in their phonemic aspect. Language 29:3446.
Clements, G.N. 2001. Representational economy in constraint-based phonology. In Distinctive feature theory, ed. Hall, T. Alan, 71146. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
Clements, G.N. 2003. Feature economy in sound systems. Phonology 20:287333.
Clements, G.N. 2009. The role of features in phonological inventories. In Contemporary views on architecture and representations in phonological theory, ed. Raimy, Eric and Cairns, Charles, 1968. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Compton, Richard. 2008. Contrast in Inuit consonant inventories. In Proceedings of the 2008 annual conference of the Canadian Linguistic Association, ed. Jones, Susie. Available at: www.chass.utoronto.ca/~cla-acl/actes2008/CLA2008_Compton.pdf.
Dorais, Louis-Jacques. 1993. From magic words to word processing: A history of the Inuit language. Iqaluit: Arctic College.
Dorais, Louis-Jacques. 2003. Inuit uqausiqatigiit: Inuit languages and dialects. 2nd rev. ed. Iqaluit: Nunavut Arctic College.
Dorais, Louis-Jacques. 2010. The language of the Inuit: Syntax, semantics, and society in the Arctic. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press.
Dresher, B. Elan. 1998. On contrast and redundancy. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Canadian Linguistic Association, Ottawa.
Dresher, B. Elan. 2003. Contrast and asymmetries in inventories. In Asymmetry in grammar, Vol. 2: Morphology, phonology, acquisition, ed. Sciullo, Anna-Maria di, 239257. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
Dresher, B. Elan. 2009. The contrastive hierarchy in phonology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Dresher, B. Elan and Zhang, Xi. 2005. Contrast and phonological activity in Manchu vowel systems. Canadian Journal of Linguistics 50:4582.
Dresher, B. Elan, Piggott, Glyne, and Rice, Keren. 1994. Contrast in phonology: Overview. In Toronto Working Papers in Linguistics 13, ed. Dyck, Carrie, iiixvii.
Dyck, Carrie. 1995. Constraining the phonology-phonetics interface, with evidence from Spanish and Italian dialects. Doctoral dissertation, University of Toronto.
Fortescue, Michael. 1991. Inuktun: An introduction to the language of Qaanaaq, ThuleEn introduktion til Thulesproget. Copenhagen: Institut for eskimologis skriftraekke, Københavns Universitet.
Fortescue, Michael, Jacobson, Steven A., and Kaplan, Lawrence D.. 1994. Comparative Eskimo dictionary with Aleut cognates. Fairbanks: Alaska Native Language Center.
Hall, Daniel Currie. 2007. The role and representation of contrast in phonological theory. Doctoral dissertation, University of Toronto.
Hall, Daniel Currie. To appear. Phonological contrast and its phonetic enhancement: Dispersedness without dispersion. Phonology.
Hall, T. Alan. 2007. Segmental features. In The Cambridge handbook of phonology, ed. Lacy, Paul de, 311334. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Halle, Morris. 1959. The sound pattern of Russian: A linguistic and acoustical investigation. The Hague: Mouton.
Hyman, Larry M. 2001. Vowel harmony in Gunu. Studies in African Linguistics 30:146170.
Hyman, Larry M. 2002. On the limits of phonetic determinism in phonology: NC revisited. In The role of perception in phonology, ed. Hume, Elizabeth and Johnson, Keith, 141185. New York: Academic Press.
Hyman, Larry M. 2003. ‘Abstract’ vowel harmony in A system-driven account. In Typologie des langues d’Afrique et universaux de la grammaire, ed. Sauzet, Patrick, Zribi-Hertz, Anne, 85112. Paris: l’Harmattan.
Jacobson, Steven A. 1995. A practical grammar of the Central Alaskan Yup’ik Eskimo language. Fairbanks: Alaska Native Language Center.
Jakobson, Roman, Fant, C. Gunnar M., and Halle, Morris. 1952. Preliminaries to speech analysis. MIT Acoustics Laboratory Technical Report, No. 13.
Jakobson, Roman and Halle, Morris. 1956. Fundamentals of language. The Hague: Mouton.
Kaplan, Lawrence D. 1981. Phonological issues in North Alaskan Inupiaq. Fairbanks: Alaska Native Language Center.
Kaplan, Lawrence D. 1990. The language of the Alaskan Inuit. In Arctic languages: An awakening, ed. Collis, Dirmid R.F., 131158. Paris: UNESCO.
Kenstowicz, Michael J. 1994. Phonology in generative grammar. Oxford: Blackwell.
Keyser, Samuel Jay, and Stevens, Kenneth N.. 2001. Enhancement revisited. In Ken Hale: A life in language, ed. Kenstowicz, Michael J., 271291. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Kochetov, Alexei. 2011. Palatalisation. In The Blackwell companion to phonology, vol. 3: Phonological processes, ed. Ewen, Colin J., Hume, Beth, Oostendorp, Marc van, and Rice, Keren, Chapter 71. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.
Krauss, Michael A. 1975. St. Lawrence Island Eskimo phonology and orthography. Linguistics: An International Review 152:3972.
Morén, Bruce. 2003. The Parallel Structures Model of feature geometry. In Working Papers of the Cornell Phonetics Laboratory, ed. Brugman, Johanna and Riehl, Anastasia, vol. XV, 194270. Ithaca: Department of Linguistics, Cornell University.
Morén, Bruce. 2006. Consonant-vowel interactions in Serbian: Features, representations and constraint interactions. Lingua 116:11981244.
Nevins, Andrew. 2010. Locality in vowel harmony. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Petersen, Robert. 1990. The Greenlandic language: Its nature and situation. In Arctic Languages: An awakening, ed. Collis, Dirmid R.F., 293308. Paris: UNESCO.
Rice, Keren. 2002. Vowel place contrasts. In Language universals and variation, ed. Amberber, Mengistu and Collins, Peter, 239270. Westport, CT: Praeger.
Rice, Keren. 2007. Markedness in phonology. In The Cambridge handbook of phonology, ed. Lacy, Paul de, 7997. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Rischel, Jørgen. 1974. Topics in West Greenlandic phonology. Copenhagen: Akademisk Forlag.
Robbe, Pierre and Dorais, Louis-Jacques. 1986. Tunumiit OraasiatTunumiut oqaasiiDetøstgrønlandske sprogThe East Greenlandic Inuit languageLa langue inuit du Groenland de l’Est. Québec: Centre d’études nordiques.
Stevens, Kenneth N. and Keyser, Samuel Jay. 1989. Primary features and their enhancement in consonants. Language 65:81106.
Stevens, Kenneth N., Keyser, Samuel Jay, and Kawasaki, Haruko. 1986. Toward a phonetic and phonological theory of redundant features. In Invariance and variability in speech processes, ed. Perkell, Joseph S. and Klatt, Dennis H., 426449. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Tersis, Nicole. 2008. Forme et sens des mots du tunumiisut: Lexique inuit du Groenland oriental. Paris: Peeters.
Trigo, Loren. 1991. On pharynx-larynx interactions. Phonology 8:113136.
Underhill, Robert. 1976. The case for an abstract segment in Greenlandic. International Journal of American Linguistics 42:349358.
van der Hulst, Harry. 1995. Radical CV phonology: The categorial gesture. In Frontiers of phonology, ed. Durand, Jacques and Katamba, Francis, 80116. Essex: Longman.
van der Hulst, Harry. 1996. Radical CV phonology: The segment-syllable connection. In Current trends in phonology: Models and methods, ed. Durand, Jacques and Laks, Bernard, 333361. Salford: European Studies Research Institute (ESRI).
van der Hulst, Harry. 2005. The molecular structure of phonological segments. In Headhood, elements, specification and contrastivity: Phonological papers in honour of John Anderson, ed. Carr, Philip, Durand, Jacques, and Ewen, Colin J., 193234. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
Zhang, Xi. 1996. Vowel systems of the Manchu-Tungus languages of China. Doctoral dissertation, University of Toronto.

Keywords

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed