Anti-markedness patterns in French epenthesis: An information-theoretic approach

Elizabeth Hume, Kathleen Currie Hall, Andrew Wedel, Adam Ussishkin, Martine Adda-Dekker, Cédric Gendrot


Cross-linguistically, certain vowel types tend to be used to break up otherwise ill-formed consonant clusters in a given language: they are generally non-low, non-round and either front or central. Such epenthetic vowels are commonly referred to as the language’s default vowel. For example, the default vowel in Maltese is [i],in Spanish it is [e], and it is schwa in Finnish, English, and Dutch. One might assume, then, that these vowels have certain properties that make them particularly good candidates for being the epenthetic vowel.

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