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On feature geometry of coronal articulations

by Paul Arsenault
Toronto Working Papers in Linguistics ()


More place distinctions are recognized within the class of coronal articulations than in any other articulator class such as labial or dorsal. As a result, it has often been assumed that there are more features associated with the coronal articulator than with other articulators and that the internal structure of the coronal node in feature geometry is more complex than other nodes. In this paper, I argue that this is not necessarily the case. I present an analysis of coronal articulations in which marked coronals are the result of combining primary coronal articulations with secondary dorsal articulations. As a result, the coronal node consists of no more features or levels of structure than any other node. The proposed analysis is motivated by evidence from natural phonological classes, degrees of markedness within coronal classes and the interaction of coronal consonants with neighbouring vowels.

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