15th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS-15)

Barcelona, Spain
August 3-9, 2003

Syllable-Based Phonology of Ibero-Romance Languages

J. C. Williams

Independent Researcher, Upper Arlington, OH, USA

As an Ibero-Romance exemplar, this syllable-based synchronic Spanish phonology specifies five vocalic nuclei /a, e, o, i, u/, respectively, by {low}, {front}, {back}, {high, front}, {high, back}. Coda features are tense, lax, nasal, lateral, rhotic, palatalized, and labialized, without place specification, usually limited to a single manner feature. Onset manner features include complex (spirantized), interrupted, continuant, lax, nasal, lateral, rhotic, palatalized, and labialized. The first five (obstruent) manner features require concomitant place specification (labial, apical, dorsal). The last four are approximant. Up to three manner features may co-occur in onset (obstruent, liquid, glide). In Ibero-Romance languages, complex features occur only morpheme-initially. Word-initially, phonetic implementation of a complex feature creates a preceding epenthetic syllable with the default (front) vowel as nucleus and the frication event of the complex feature as coda. Syllable-based analysis provides robust representation of underlying phonological forms for effectively describing dialectal, idiolectal, and cross-language variation, and prosodic variability.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Williams, J. C. (2003): "Syllable-based phonology of Ibero-Romance languages", In ICPhS-15, 707-710.