Glottal stop insertion in Scottish Gaelic and contrastive syllabification

April 19, 2013

Teangeolaíocht na Gaeilge / Cànanachas na Gàidhlig / The Linguistics of the Gaelic Languages XV. University College Dublin, Dublin, Republic of Ireland

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Categories:  Prosody Scottish Gaelic

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Gaelic dialects, mostly in Argyll, show a process of glottal stop epenthesis in stressed light syllables. This has been analysed as a stress-to-weight effect, and I review the evidence to show that this analysis is likely correct, and also that glottal stop insertion is a live phonological process rather than a lexicalized artefact of history. If this is correct, Argyll Gaelic shows an example of lexical storage of syllable structure, sometimes argued to be impossible.



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I’m Pavel Iosad, and I'm a Lecturer in Theoretical Phonology in the department of Linguistics and English Language at the University of Edinburgh. ¶ You can always go to the start page to learn more.

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