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Prosodic Inconsistency in Tohono O’odham 1

Colleen M. Fitzgerald
International Journal of American Linguistics
Vol. 78, No. 4 (October 2012), pp. 435-463
DOI: 10.1086/666930
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/666930
Page Count: 29
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Prosodic Inconsistency in Tohono O’odham 1
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Abstract

This paper makes a typological contribution by describing a stress system that uses syllabic trochees while also displaying characteristics more typically associated with a quantity-sensitive language. The description comes from Tohono O’odham. The rhythm of this language is quantity-insensitive and trochaic, although the language also displays characteristics often associated with quantity-sensitivity (i.e., long vowels, gemination). Examined together, the facts illustrated here demonstrate the prosodic inconsistency of Tohono O’odham: that rhythm and prosodic morphology offer different perspectives on the role played by quantity, and that Tohono O’odham is the first language documented to split its rhythm and prosodic morphology along quantitative lines.

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