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Cross-linguistic patterns of vowel intrusion

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  13 February 2007

Nancy Hall
University of Haifa


Vowel sounds may be inserted into a word by two mechanisms: insertion of a vocalic articulatory gesture (epenthesis), or retiming of existing gestures to produce a vowel-like transition between consonants (intrusion). I argue that epenthetic vowels are phonological units but intrusive vowels are not. A representation using abstract gestures as well as segments can capture facts about the typology of vowel intrusion.

Research Article
© 2006 Cambridge University Press

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This article has benefited greatly from the guidance of Lisa Selkirk, John McCarthy, John Kingston, Joe Pater and Rex Wallace, from discussions with Ron Artstein, Travis Bradley, Patrik Bye, Adamantios Gafos, Louis Goldstein, Carlos Gussenhoven, Markus Hiller, John Koontz, Mary Pearce, members of the UMass Phonology Group and the Rutgers Optimality Research Group, and from comments by an associate editor of Phonology and four anonymous reviewers. All errors are, of course, my own.