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Onsets
Suprasegmental and Prosodic Behaviour

$32.00 USD

Part of Cambridge Studies in Linguistics

  • Date Published: May 2010
  • availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
  • format: Adobe eBook Reader
  • isbn: 9780511740886

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  • The concept of the 'onset', i.e. the consonant(s) before the vowel of a syllable, is critical within phonology. While phonologists have examined the segmental behaviour of onsets, their prosodic status has instead been largely overlooked. In fact, most previous accounts have stipulated that onsets are insignificant when it comes to the 'heaviness' of syllables. In this book Nina Topintzi presents a new theory of onsets, arguing for their fundamental role in the structure of language both in the underlying and surface representation, unlike previous assumptions. To capture the weight behaviour of onsets, a novel account is proposed that relates their interaction with voicing, tone and stress. Using numerous case-studies and data from a variety of languages and phenomena (including stress, compensatory lengthening, gemination and word minimality), the book introduces a model that reflects the true behaviour of onsets, demonstrating profound implications for syllable and weight theories.

    • The first comprehensive study of the subject that doesn't focus exclusively on the phenomenon of stress
    • Includes numerous case studies and data from a wide variety of languages
    • The theory has implications for syllable structure and weight in general
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    Reviews & endorsements

    '… the book is well written and very readable. … It is a significant and welcome contribution to the field.' The Journal of Phonology

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    Product details

    • Date Published: May 2010
    • format: Adobe eBook Reader
    • isbn: 9780511740886
    • contains: 2 b/w illus.
    • availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
  • Table of Contents

    1. Onsets and weight: the theory
    2. Onsets and stress
    3. Onsets and compensatory lengthening
    4. Onsets and word-minimality
    5. Onsets and geminates
    6. Other real and not-so-real onset-sensitive data: brief case studies
    7. Conclusion and discussion of alternatives.

  • Author

    Nina Topintzi, Aristotle University, Thessaloniki
    Nina Topintzi is a Teaching Fellow in the School of English at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.

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