14th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS-14)

San Francisco, CA, USA
August 1-7, 1999

Hindi Syllabification

Manjari Ohala

San José State University, San José, CA, USA

Results are presented from an experiment conducted to see how native speakers of Hindi syllabify various intervocalic consonant clusters. Twenty-one native speakers of Hindi were asked to repeat the “first part” or the “last part” of a word twice for 19 selected test words. The results showed a preference for VC-CV syllabification for two-consonant clusters and a VC-CCV preference for three-consonant clusters. The sonority value of segments did not play a role and the ‘onset-first’ principle was only partially supported. The VC-CCV syllabification preference for three-consonant clusters for all cases would not have been predicted by recent proposals of Optimality Theory. The results also lend support to the notion that mental grammars of adults are partially shaped by literacy.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Ohala, Manjari (1999): "Hindi syllabification", In ICPhS-14, 727-730.