The Weekly Newsletter of MIT Linguistics

Phonology Circle 3/11 - Juliet Stanton

Speaker: Juliet Stanton
Title: Positional restrictions on prenasalized stops: a perceptual account
Date/Time: Monday, Mar 11, 5pm
Location: 32-D831

Previous studies on prenasalized stops have focused mainly on issues of derivation and classification, but little is known about their distributional properties. The current study is an attempt to fill this gap. I present results of two surveys documenting positional restrictions on NCs, and show that there are predictable and systematic constraints on their distribution. The major finding is that NCs are optimally licensed in contexts where they are perceptually distinct from plain oral and plain nasal stops. I propose an analysis referencing auditory factors, and show that a perceptual account explains all attested patterns.