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

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

The Nature of Vocoids Associated with Syllabic Consonants in Tashlhiyt Berber

John Coleman

University of Oxford, UK

Tashlhiyt Berber has entered the phonological folklore as an unusual language in which any consonant can be syllabic, many words consisting entirely of consonants. I shall argue for an alternative analysis, according to which the epenthetic vowels which frequently accompany syllabic consonants are the phonetic realizations of syllable nuclei. Where no epenthetic vowel is evident, it can be regarded as hidden by the following consonant, according to a gestural overlap model. On this view, Tashlhiyt syllable structure is a quite unmarked CV(C(C)), and syllabification is unproblematic.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Coleman, John (1999): "The nature of vocoids associated with syllabic consonants in Tashlhiyt Berber", In ICPhS-14, 735-738.