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

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

The Stops in Coda Position in Brazilian Portuguese

José Olímpio de Magalhães

Federal University of Minas Gerais and CNPq, Brazil

Brazilian Portuguese (BP) is said to have words like "ca[p]tar" (to catch) and "aspe[k]to” (aspect) with a stop in coda position, and words such as "ca[pi]tal" (capital) and "sé[ki]to" (retinue) with a stop in onset position. However, phonetically, BP does not have stops in coda position because speakers put an epenthetic [i] after the stop. There is, thus, no melodical difference between graphical sequences like -gm- and -guim-, in words such as "se[g]mento" (segment) and "se[gi]mento" (continuation), both pronounced se[gi]mento. This raises many questions: Should BP have two kinds of [i] after stops, lexical and epenthetic, if these have identical phonetic realization? Should native speakers/hearers perceive a difference between a lexical and an epenthetic [i]? What should the underlying form in each case be? How much does the speakers' perception support the theoretical propositions of Phonology? Our hypothesis is that, phonologically, there are no stop closing syllables in BP.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Magalhães, José Olímpio de (1999): "The stops in coda position in Brazilian Portuguese", In ICPhS-14, 2223-2225.