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Perceptual Metathesis in Tsou: A Reanalysis of Segment Transposition in Voice Paradigms

Perceptual Metathesis in Tsou: A Reanalysis of Segment Transposition in Voice Paradigms Abstract: In Tsou, a group of verb stems displays a peculiar ordering contrast in which a vowel + consonant sequence in actor voice is transposed in the corresponding nonactor voice , as seen in the contrast of t eʔ si ‘sew, actor voice ’ vs. t ʔe s-a ‘sew, patient voice ’ and t ʔe s-neni ‘sew, referential voice ’. This study argues that Tsou segment transposition can be viewed as an instance of perceptual metathesis, in which the long-durational cues of an underlying postvocalic consonant extend and affect the realization of the adjacent vowel, resulting in a reinterpretation of the acoustic effects as being caused by a prevocalic consonant. Through an exploration of the phonetic characteristics of the sounds involved and the context in which they appear, this study presents a unified treatment of three puzzling aspects of Tsou segment transposition: (i) transposing consonants are limited to laryngeals and palatal glides; (ii) the direction of the change appears ambiguous (VC > CV or CV > VC) due to the undetermined status of the underlying order; and (iii) the VC ~ CV alternation is confined to specific voice categories, which raises questions about whether the nature of the change is purely phonologically defined, or requires reference to specific morphosyntactic categories. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Oceanic Linguistics University of Hawai'I Press

Perceptual Metathesis in Tsou: A Reanalysis of Segment Transposition in Voice Paradigms

Oceanic Linguistics , Volume 54 (1) – Jul 21, 2015

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Publisher
University of Hawai'I Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 University of Hawai'i Press.
ISSN
1527-9421
Publisher site
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Abstract

Abstract: In Tsou, a group of verb stems displays a peculiar ordering contrast in which a vowel + consonant sequence in actor voice is transposed in the corresponding nonactor voice , as seen in the contrast of t eʔ si ‘sew, actor voice ’ vs. t ʔe s-a ‘sew, patient voice ’ and t ʔe s-neni ‘sew, referential voice ’. This study argues that Tsou segment transposition can be viewed as an instance of perceptual metathesis, in which the long-durational cues of an underlying postvocalic consonant extend and affect the realization of the adjacent vowel, resulting in a reinterpretation of the acoustic effects as being caused by a prevocalic consonant. Through an exploration of the phonetic characteristics of the sounds involved and the context in which they appear, this study presents a unified treatment of three puzzling aspects of Tsou segment transposition: (i) transposing consonants are limited to laryngeals and palatal glides; (ii) the direction of the change appears ambiguous (VC > CV or CV > VC) due to the undetermined status of the underlying order; and (iii) the VC ~ CV alternation is confined to specific voice categories, which raises questions about whether the nature of the change is purely phonologically defined, or requires reference to specific morphosyntactic categories.

Journal

Oceanic LinguisticsUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Jul 21, 2015

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