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Prenasalized stops: methodological scepticism

Małgorzata Haładewicz-Grzelak (Technical University of Opole)

Two principal contemporary phonological models, namely OT and GP, are ‘notorious’ for resorting to exotic sound patterns to support their tenets. The present paper originated as an attempt to trace some of the issues mentioned by those theories. Specifically, the prenasalization of consonants was investigated in the context a little wider than the basic facts generally described.
One of the outcomes of such research was gaining deeper cross-linguistic insights into the nature of consonantal prenasalization, although the results are regretfully still a low-level analysis . The second outcome was pointing out some of the inconsistencies present in the accessible OT, GP, and feature-geometry analyses of the phenomenon. The research showed the incomplete nature of the data used in those analyses and the relativity of some concepts employed, which in fact defy one another. The discussed elaborations were McCarthy’s (2003) interpretation of Luganda vowel lengthening before pre-nasalized stops, Stuart Davies’ (2003) analysis of the Sinahala inanimate plural and KLV’s (1990) discussion of open syllables in Ngizim.

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