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Title:The diphthongs of Spanish: Stress, syllabification, and alternations
Author(s):Carreira, Maria Margarita
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Kenstowicz, Michael J.
Department / Program:Linguistics
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Language, Linguistics
Language, Modern
Abstract:The intricate system of Spanish diphthongs has generated much discussion in Spanish phonology as well as in the development of numerous theories of syllable structure. In this dissertation, it is my claim that many of the difficulties posed by the diphthongs of Spanish can be dispensed with if we assume that they are derived structures rather than primitive syllable types. Falling diphthongs are derived prior to initial stress assignment from two adjacent syllable nuclei, where the second nucleus is (+high). Rising diphthongs are created subsequent to the assignment of stress from a sequence of (+high) vowel followed by an onsetless syllable. Surface differences in the syllabicity of words like Mar(y) o and Maria then, are encoded underlying in terms of stress, rather than in terms of a feature, or a structural property of high vowels. Such a proposal reduces the inventory of Spanish syllable types and allows us to eliminate the feature (syllabic). The Sonority Principle and the two-mora limit per syllable determine syllabic wellformedness. This makes it possible to uphold a maximally simple model of the syllable, with no inner structure.
This analysis of diphthongs also leads to a more explanatory account of the alternating diphthongs of Spanish ( (ye) $\sim$ (e) and (o) $\sim$ (we)). It is my claim that the monophthongal forms of the diphthongs are derived from the intermediate monomoraic structures: $\{$ye$\}$ and $\{$wo$\}$. These diphthongs monophthongize in unstressed environments as a result of a ban against shared feature matrices in monomoraic diphthongs that are in a metrically weak position. Overall, the analyses presented uphold a minimally marked model of Spanish syllable structure.
Issue Date:1990
Rights Information:Copyright 1990 Carreira, Maria Margarita
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9026151
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9026151

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