Schwa Epenthesis

Schwa Epenthesis-2
In this paper, we use articulatory measures to determine whether Dutch schwa epenthesis is an abstract phonological process or a concrete phonetic process depending on articulatory timing.We examine tongue position during /l/ before underlying schwa and epenthetic schwa and in coda position.We use cookies to make interactions with our website easy and meaningful, to better understand the use of our services, and to tailor advertising.

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, which is a rest category from a descriptive point of view: if there is no reason to call a schwa e-schwa or r-schwa, I call it s-schwa.

S-schwa is usually already present in the underlying structure, but this is not a distinctive property of the vowel: also e-schwa can be underlyingly present (when the alternation is the result of deletion), and so can r-schwa (when the alternation is the result of fortition).

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It can only occur in a simple type of syllable; or it is invisible for the stress system; or it is epenthetic; or it is the result of reduction; etc.

Schwa Epenthesis

Linguistic theory has to explain this special behaviour of schwa: why is it exactly this segment which behaves in exactly this way in so many languages?

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It is of course also possible that this alternation is caused by deletion of schwa in certain environments, and in some (monostratal) theories one may deny the role of vowel epenthesis or deletion altogether and claim that the occurrence or non-occurrence of schwa in a certain position is a matter of phonetic interpretation (Charette 1991).

In any case, if an alternation is observed, this counts as a diagnostic for E-schwa.


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