The Weekly Newsletter of MIT Linguistics

Juliet Stanton in Natural Language & Linguistic Theory

Congratulations to 4th-year student Juliet Stanton, whose paper “Predicting distributional restrictions on prenasalised stops” has just been published in Natural Language & Linguistic Theory!

Previous studies on prenasalized stops (NCs) focus mainly on issues of derivation and classification, but little is known about their distributional properties. The current study fills this gap. I present results of a survey 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 nasal stops. I provide an analysis referencing auditory factors, and show that a perceptual account explains all attested patterns.

Spectrogram-prenasalized-consonant”. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikipedia.