A Q-Theoretic approach to distinctive subsegmental timing

Karee Garvin, Myriam Lapierre, Sharon Inkelas


This paper presents two case studies of segment-internal timing distinctions which motivate Q Theory, in which each segment (Q) is represented as a string of featurally uniform subsegments (q), e.g. (q1 q2 q3), corresponding to the informal concepts of onset, target, and offset (Inkelas & Shih 2013, 2016, 2017, Shih & Inkelas 2014). We argue, based on Panará and Hungarian, that this representational richness is motivated by the need to represent phonologically tripartite segments, as well as segment-internal timing distinctions that are phonologically contrastive. In addition to supporting existing Q Theory architecture, we also argue for expanding the repertoire of Q Theory further to include phonologically long segments, such as geminates.


phonology; segments; subsegments; Q Theory

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.3765/plsa.v3i1.4330

Copyright (c) 2018 Karee Garvin, Myriam Lapierre, Sharon Inkelas

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