Back(ing) Glottal & Guttural Patterns in Onsets and Nuclei.

Abstract : Phonological typology is a leading field in empirical linguistics today. It owes this privilege to a rich tradition of theoretical research on the sound patterns of language, and to the number of significant cross-linguistic comparative studies, based on databases such as UPSID. However, many domains of inquiry still await more detailed study within a typological framework, such as postvelar articulations, gesture coordination of gutturals and glottals within onsets and nuclei, the nature of breathiness and creakiness, and its sources and function in different languages. The laryngealist theory for proto-Indo-European has seldom been revisited on cross-linguistic grounds, and most consonant inventories defined nowadays as typologically creaky or breathy were until recently considered to be “glottalized” or “aspirated”. Postvelar sounds, backness coarticulations and glottalic features, although rare in European languages, do occur in a wide array of languages and language families, including Afro-Asiatic, Caucasian, Mayan, Totonacan, Altaic, Khoisan. Martinet argued that languages tend towards what he called an “articulatory basis”; for example, most European languages exhibit a fronting or palatal tendency. It will be interesting to focus more attention on languages that display tendencies towards a “back(ing) articulatory basis”, and to examine what happens in this domain. Such work should take into account categorical and typological shifts. The BACK(ING) International Conference will focus on three topics: 1. Categories: properties and features of glottalized onsets (implosives and ejectives) and gutturals (uvulars, epiglottals or pharyngeals) and nuclei (checked or interrupted vowels). 2. Functions, distribution & constraints: insertion and synchronisation of these backing features in a wide range of prosodic and morphological domains (syllabic and metrical templates, inflectional stems), degrees of mobility (light and heavy backing features, anchors and sites). 3. Change and backing feature shifts: sandhi, assimilation and dissimilation, compensatory processes, transphonologization. Moreover, the Backing Meeting seeks contributions that: 1)Discuss the diversity of `backing` models - examining empirical approaches, with paradigms such as Laboratory Phonology, Feature Geometry and Structural Dialectology at the forefront of discussion. 2)Highlight endangered languages: the description of Backing in endangered and scarcely documented languages using first-hand data is strongly encouraged. 3)Enhance empirical criticism: we encourage the contributors relying on second-hand data to revisit models and data critically, or to contrast previous available data with new observations and empirical insights.
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Conference papers
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Contributor : Samia Naïm <>
Submitted on : Monday, February 27, 2017 - 5:41:22 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, July 23, 2019 - 4:06:00 PM

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  • HAL Id : halshs-01477947, version 1

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Samia Naïm, Jean-Léo Léonard. Back(ing) Glottal & Guttural Patterns in Onsets and Nuclei. . Back(ing) Glottal & Guttural Patterns in Onsets and Nuclei. , Jean-Léo Léonard et Samia Naïm, May 2012, Paris, France. ⟨halshs-01477947⟩

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