S-Space Language Education Institute (언어교육원) Language Research (어학연구) Language Research (어학연구) Volume 35 Number 1/4 (1999)
Contrast Maximization and Sonority: A Functional Approach
- Han, Jeong-Im
- Issue Date
- 서울대학교 언어교육원
- 어학연구, Vol.35 No.4, pp. 559-570
- This paper explores the functional goal governing the pattern of permissible codas in many languages. I argue that the choice of more sonorous consonants in syllable codas, but not in onsets, can be accounted for by a phonological strategy to maximize contrast. Based on the proposal that syllable codas are less prominent linguistic positions (Beckman 1997), certain types of segments are argued to be less salient than any other segment types, thus frequently deleted or neutralized in syllable codas. I argue that to prohibit deletion or neutralization of less salient segments and preserve their contrast in syllable codas, more salient segments, namely, more sonorous segments are chosen. In tenus of saliency ranking, stops are argued to be the least salient segments, and thus not likely to be chosen as syllable codas. The weak saliency of stops as compared to other types of segments is shown to be acoustically supported.
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