Pre-sonorant voicing and language contact

November 29, 2017

3rd Edinburgh Symposium on Historical Phonology: Laryngeal Phonology Fringe Session

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Categories:  Historical phonology Laryngeal phonology

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I draw attention to the fact that whilst pre-sonorant voicing of fricatives across a word boundary appears to be fairly widely spread (at least in Europe), pre-sonorant voicing of all obstruents appears to cluster in areas where ‘aspirating’ languages are in contact with ‘voice’ languages: the languages involved are Breton (Celtic/Gallo-Romance), Franconian/Netherlandic (e.g. Limburg Dutch, Luxembourgish), Western Polish and Slovak (Slavic/Germanic).

About me

I’m Pavel Iosad, and I’m a Senior Lecturer 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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