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Coda Maximisation in Northwest Saamic

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  21 November 2005

Patrik Bye
University of Tromsø/CASTL, Faculty of Humanities, 9037 Tromsø, Norway. E-mail:
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The languages of the Northwest Saamic group evince a pattern of syllabification that maximises the complexity of the coda in a bimoraic stressed syllable (cf. Kiparsky 2004 on Fenno-Swedish). The coda maximisation requirement interacts with four other syllabic well-formedness constraints in a fixed ranking that regulates the sonority profile, quantity and structural complexity of the rhyme. Varying the point at which the coda maximisation requirement interleaves with the constraints in this fixed ranking generates a restrictive microtypology of coda maximisation in Northwest Saamic. The last part of the paper proposes to eliminate the stipulative fixed ordering by ranking the four syllabic well-formedness constraints in a proper inclusion (stringency) hierarchy (de Lacy 2004). It is argued that syllable rhymes may be characterised as falling on a scale of degree of perceptual integrity (dpi) and that complex codas are more dispreferred when the syllable has low dpi.

Research Article
© 2005 Cambridge University Press

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