Word-final strength and weakness
Keywords:word-final, right edge, final lengthening, child phonology
Word-final syllables are known to show phonological strength, presumably due to final lengthening (Steriade 1994; Barnes 2002), but also phonological weakness. We propose that final weakening effects are also due to final lengthening under the assumption that duration due a phonetic source (i.e. final lengthening) is not on linguistic par with duration from a phonological source. We show further support for our proposal through the results of perception studies with adults that show less sensitivity to word-final duration differences. We note that child language phonology often shows unexpected final syllable strength and include two such diary studies with English-learning children. We propose that this difference between child and adult phonology is due to children not yet having learned to differentiate the import of duration based on its source.
Published by the LSA with permission of the author(s) under a CC BY 4.0 license.