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Title:The Syllable Structure and Stress Patterns of the Maithili Language
Author(s):Mishra, Mithilesh
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Charles Kisseberth; Pandharipande, Rajeshwari
Department / Program:Linguistics
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Language, Linguistics
Abstract:While its inventory of consonantal phonemes is similar to other closely related Indo-Aryan languages, the dissertation shows that in its vocalic system, length contrast have been replaced by the tense and lax contrast. Furthermore, the author shows the lax vowels [schwa], [I], and U in word final positions and in open syllables are phonetically realized as super lax [schwa], [i], and [u]. The author argues that while these super lax vowels are retained in the word final and in medial positions to enforce a language wide ban on trimoraic syllables, the lax /[schwa]/ which is unfooted or in a metrically weak position is deleted. This deletion of /[schwa]/ in word medial positions is gradually changing sequences of CVlaxC[schwa] to CVlaxC. The dissertation also shows a perfect synergy between the Syllable structure constraints and the Metrical constraints. The dissertation demonstrates that a complete ban on trimoraic syllables and the requirement of a (bi) moraic trochee work in tandem to select optimal outputs which do not violate these two undominated constraints in Maithili. The author argues that most of the general morphophonemic and phonological alternations, from the distributional regularities of tense and lax vowels to the metathesis of word final super lax [i], [u] can be accounted by the two constraints mentioned above. The dissertation provides ample support to the OT claim that just as different ranking of universal constraints explain the typological differences, the different ranking of language specific constraints gives rise to the variation in language. The Maithili data also shows an hitherto unexplored area of language variation, a variation in which the variant forms are in reality two optimal outputs.
Issue Date:2006
Description:100 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2006.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI3242942
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-25
Date Deposited:2006

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