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A story of two schwas: a production study from Tashlhiyt

  • Rachid Ridouane (a1) and Jamison Cooper-Leavitt (a2)


What is the status of schwa in Tashlhiyt? How does it pattern at the segmental and suprasegmental levels? This paper studies these questions by examining the frequencies with which schwa is inserted in different segmental contexts, and by exploring the nature of the interaction between schwa insertion and prosodic prominence. The results show the coexistence of two types of schwa in the language: a transitional schwa and a prosodically triggered schwa. The former is ignored by the phonological system of the language; its occurrence depends solely on the phonetic characteristics of the adjacent consonants. The latter surfaces whenever a prosodically prominent feature does not attach to a vowel or sonorant already present within the word. Both schwas are argued to be manifestations of a more general principle governing the coordination pattern of consonant sequences in Tashlhiyt.


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We are indebted to many people for discussion of the ideas and facts presented here: François Dell, Louis Goldstein, Martine Grice, Carlos Gussenhoven, Aditi Lahiri, Mark Liberman and Timo Roettger. We are also grateful to the editors, associate editor and three anonymous reviewers for their extremely valuable feedback. We would also like to express our gratitude to the subject consultants for their participation. This work was supported by the French LabEx Empirical Foundations of Linguistics (ANR/CGI).



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A story of two schwas: a production study from Tashlhiyt

  • Rachid Ridouane (a1) and Jamison Cooper-Leavitt (a2)


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