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

Barcelona, Spain
August 3-9, 2003

Sound Change in Tautosyllabic Consonantal Clusters in Brazilian Portuguese

Thaïs Cristófaro-Silva

Federal University Minas Gerais, Brazil

This article explores the proposal that some sound changes may be attributed to the fact that a low type frequency moves towards a high type frequency pattern. Three ongoing changes in tautosyllabic obstruent-liquid clusters in Brazilian Portuguese will be examined: the loss of the liquid (li[vr]o > li[v]o livro 'book'), the change in the obstruent (a[tl]eta > a[kl]eta atleta 'athlete') and the change in the liquid ([pl]ano > [pr]ano plano 'plan'). It will be suggested that although type frequency plays a central role in phonological generalisations it must be analysed together with token frequency effects. It will also be suggested that phonological generalisations proceed according to lexical diffusion patterns. The results presented in this paper indicate that sound changes, which refer to phonotactic domains, may be evaluated differently from sound changes that are phonetically motivated.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Cristófaro-Silva, Thaïs (2003): "Sound change in tautosyllabic consonantal clusters in Brazilian Portuguese", In ICPhS-15, 1675-1678.