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zompist bboard • View topic - Word Initial Glottal Stop v. Zero

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2016 6:01 am 
Avisaru
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How common is it for glottal stop and zero to indisputably contrast phonemically in word-initial position? I'm looking for a contrast that exists both in the lexicon and at the surface. For example, for German, it is argued that glottal stops are a consequence of stress.

On a related issue, should the term 'zero consonant' be taken to embrace glottal stops?


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2016 6:42 am 
Sumerul
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it's certainly attested. the classic example is hawaiian -- /alo/ 'front' vs. /ʔalo/ 'dodge'.

dunno how *common* it is, but UPSID lists a phonemic glottal stop in 48% of its languages, and i'd guess it contrasts initially with zero in a good portion of those. incidentally, UPSID reports a phonemic voiced glottal stop in nenets, which i'm adding to my gigabyte-large file called why_upsid_is_garbage.txt

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2016 7:51 am 
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2016 10:59 am 
Avisaru
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In Arabic there's a word-initial contrast, although it's been messed up in various dialects. The distinction is there when the word is preceded by another word as opposed to utterance-initial. Utterance-initially there is a glottal stop, but it can be elided (sometimes but not always along with the following vowel) in utterance-medial or final contexts.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2016 4:49 pm 
Avisaru
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2016 9:13 pm 
Smeric
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That hypothesis strikes me as not so productive, because if we assume that all so-called utterance initial vowels really do have a glottal stop in front of them, it becomes a lot more difficult to explain languages which develop word initial consonants like /h, j, w, ŋ/ out of apparently nothing. I think the situation is actually that epenthetic word [or more pedantically, utterance]-initial glottal stop is quite common, but in other situations there is/was some kind of glide going on. There's no reason they can't open their glottis and then only afterward proceed with airflow.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2016 4:23 am 
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2016 5:57 am 
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2016 8:16 am 
Smeric
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Word initial glottal stop appears to be default for vowel-initial words in German but IIRC in Gaelic it's /j/. Maybe these can be generalised further. Maybe it is a general thing in the Goidelic languages? Dutch maybe does like in German?


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2016 2:13 pm 
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2016 6:26 pm 
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2016 6:11 pm 
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 2:36 am 
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 13, 2017 6:58 pm 
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 13, 2017 6:59 pm 
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