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12. Coronals

T. A. Hall

Subject Theoretical Linguistics » Phonology

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405184236.2011.00014.x


Numerous studies in the past two decades have argued that coronals like /t/ and /n/ have properties that differentiate them from labials like /p/ and /m/ and dorsals like /k/ and /ŋ/ (e.g. Paradis and Prunet 1991b ). For example, in many languages coronals are the only sounds that undergo place assimilation or rules of epenthesis. Sounds like /t/ and /n/ are likewise often the output of rules neutralizing place contrasts. The present chapter summarizes the special properties of coronals and evaluates a number of theoretical and empirical claims made in the literature concerning these sounds. In (1) I provide some background information for readers unfamiliar with the term “coronal.” We can observe here several common IPA symbols for coronal consonants for four manners of articulation. Note that there are four major places, namely labial, coronal, dorsal, and glottal. The present chapter concerns itself with the sounds in the box in (1). From the point of view of phonetics, coronal consonants include at least the following four places of articulation: (denti-)alveolar (e.g. /t d/), post-alveolar (e.g. /∫ ʒ/), retroflex (e.g. /ʈ ɗ/) and palatal (e.g. /c ɟ/). From the perspective of phonology there is general consensus that the boxed sounds in (1) form a natural class that is captured with the privative feature [C oronal ]. Within that class, it is often useful to draw a distinction ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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