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Fricative patterning in aspirating versus true voice languages1



Building on the empirical insights of Beckman, Jessen & Ringen (2013), we compare the fricatives within the laryngeal systems of Russian and Turkish on the premise that the former is a final devoicing language, while the latter is not, but instead has alternations based on processes of intervocalic voicing and final fortition. This view has consequences for the analysis of fricatives in Russian vs. Turkish: Russian fricatives undergo final devoicing, while Turkish fricatives do not. By contrast, unlike Russian fricatives, Turkish fricatives induce [spread glottis] assimilation in following sonorants. We show that these differences are upheld in three phonetic studies, extending the relevance of the ‘laryngeal realism’ hypothesis to fricatives as well as stops.


Corresponding author

Author’s address: Zentrum für Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft, Schützenstr. 18, D-10117 Berlin,
Author’s address: University College London, Linguistics, Chandler House, 2 Wakefield Street, London WC1N 1PF,


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