The weight and representation of Ryukyuan Miyako onsets: Initial geminate moraicity, markedness, and sonority
This thesis examines descriptive data on the Southern Ryukyuan Miyako languages and argues for a moraic account of the initial geminates found therein. All varieties of Miyako discussed require underived words to feature at least two morae, and the initial geminates in each variety appear to satisfy the bimoraic word minimality requirement. Segmental restrictions on the coerced (derived) moraicity of the initial geminates are proposed to be a function of sonority, primarily with regard to voicing. Distinctive (lexically specified) onset moraicity is found to be independent of sonority. Both findings are in line with proposals made in the literature about moraicity. Several claims about Miyako syllable and word structure are discussed in detail, finding that despite proposals made in the literature concerning the structure of the onsets found in the Irabu and Ikema dialects, neither dialect permits onset or coda clusters. Similarly, it is found that apparent initial geminate voiced fricatives in Irabu may be heterosyllabic clusters. Each section discussing a variety of Miyako concludes with an Optimality Theoretic account of the initial geminate patterns found therein. The thesis concludes with a brief discussion of future research topics and a summary of key findings.
PublisherUiT Norges arktiske universitet
UiT The Arctic University of Norway
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