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Sonority Sequencing Violations and Prosodic Structure in Latin and Other Indo-European Languages

Indo-European Linguistics

Brill

10.1163/22125892-00301007

Latin, phonotactics, prosody, reduplication, phonology, Optimality Theory

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Abstract

Attention has been paid of late to syllable structure in ancient Indo-European languages, e.g. Sanskrit (Kobayashi, 2004), Latin (Marotta, 1999), Greek (Zukoff, 2012), Anatolian (Kavitskaya, 2001), and general Indo-European (Byrd, 2010; Keydana, 2012). There is little agreement in the field about some of the more difficult cases, most of which involve both word-initial and medial clusters that violate the Sonority Sequencing Principle (SSP), particularly sibilant-stop clusters. Because sibilants are more sonorous than stops, [STV-] σ onsets to roots such as *steh2- require special consideration. I will argue that there are three types of evidence we can and should employ in attempting to diagnose syllable structure in ancient languages: metrical, phonological, and morphological. I will apply all three to Latin forms, showing that in Pre-Literary Latin, sibilant-stop clusters formed true onsets, as Byrd (2010) has argued for Proto-Indo-European, but that by the Classical period these SSP-violating clusters were no longer licensed as onsets. In such sequences, Classical Latin allowed only [t] in the onset, while the [s] formed a coda in medial position and was housed extraprosodically in word-initial position. The various treatments of ST-sequences in Latin and other Indo-European languages, especially PIE, Sanskrit, and Gothic, will be modeled in Optimality Theory using constraints on phonotactics and extraprosodicity.

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Author and article information

Affiliations
University of California, Los Angeles, CA jdelisi@123456ucla.edu
Contributors
University of California, Los Angeles, CA jdelisi@123456ucla.edu
Journal
22125892
Indo-European Linguistics
IEUL
Brill (The Netherlands)
2212-5884
2212-5892
2015
: 3
: 1
: 1-23
Copyright 2015 by Jessica DeLisi

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC 3.0) License.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 4.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/legalcode

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