The Weekly Newsletter of MIT Linguistics

Colloquium 5/1 - Nina Topintzi

Speaker: Nina Topintzi (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki)
Title: Edge Geminates: typology and asymmetries*
Date: Friday, May 1st
Time: 3:30-5:00p
Place: 32-141

Edge geminates (EG) are a different species from intervocalic geminates. They are rarer and structurally different; they emerge – at least superficially – as tautosyllabic within an onset (word-initial geminate) or coda (word-final geminate), as opposed to the typically heterosyllabic intervocalic geminates. In this paper, I present a typology of the weight properties of EGs and make observations that may predict whether an EG patterns as heavy or light. For the latter part, I consider the relationship between EGs and edge consonant clusters in the language under consideration and investigate the existence of correlations. For example, an initial finding suggests that if EGs are unique in a language, i.e. the language possesses no edge clusters, then the EG is more likely to pattern as moraic (cf. Trukese and Pattani Malay in initial position and Hadhrami Arabic finally). Additionally, when edge clusters do arise, then the EG will tend to pattern the same way as the cluster with respect to weight. Finally, I discuss exceptions to this and speculate on the reasons the typology is shaped the way it is.

*Based on joint work with Stuart Davis (Indiana University)