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Segmental Prominence and the Modulated Carrier Signal

Harris, John; Hyman, Larry M; (2022) Segmental Prominence and the Modulated Carrier Signal. In: EE, Moses and Imelda Icheji, Udoh, (eds.) Current Issues in Descriptive Linguistics and Digital Humanities. A Festschrift in Honor of Professor Eno-Abasi Essien Urua. Springer Nature: Singapore.

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Abstract

The segmental phonology of a wide range of West African languages shows clear contrastive asymmetries between different positions within the prosodic stem—a stem defined by a fixed number of syllables and various other restrictions. Stem-initial positions are strong in that they support maximal systems of consonant contrasts. Non-initial positions are weak not just because they support fewer contrasts but also because the consonants that typically occur there form a rather small set that can be intuitively described as weak. The notion of relative consonantal strength is hard to define using standard feature classifications. However, it can be captured by drawing on the model of speech as a modulated carrier signal: the stronger the consonant, the greater the extent to which it modulates the carrier. Consonants that are non-initial in the stem form a natural class in that they perturb the carrier to a relatively small extent. This definition of consonant strength provides us with a direct way of modelling how segmental effects, alongside prosodic effects, are fully integrated into the more general phenomenon of positional prominence.

Type: Book chapter
Title: Segmental Prominence and the Modulated Carrier Signal
ISBN-13: 978-981-19-2931-1
DOI: 10.1007/978-981-19-2932-8
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-19-2932-8
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.
Keywords: Positional prominence, Segmental prominence, Consonant strength, Modulated carrier signal
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Linguistics
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10153678
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