Harmonic Gradience in Greek Rap Rhymes

Katerina Iliopoulou


This study investigates the gradience in mismatch acceptability in Greek rap Imperfect Rhyme. We consider that the rhyme domains of a rhyming pair are in a Base-Reduplicant correspondence relationship, requiring segmental identity in Place of Articulation, Manner of Articulation and voicing, and manifesting a gradient acceptability of featural mismatches. Analysis shows that voicing mismatches are highly marked in Greek rap rhyme, implying a high perceptual salience, which seems to be language-specific. Mismatches only in Place of Articulation seem to be the most harmonic and frequent mismatch pattern, while Harmony and similarity decrease in inverse proportion to the number of mismatching features. Mismatches in Greek rap rhyme are, in principle, accepted between unmarked corresponding consonants. Obstruents, mainly Stops mismatch in Place of Articulation, and Coronals mismatch in Manner of Articulation. In general, mainly Coronal Obstruents and, to a lesser extent, Nasals are involved in mismatches. Due to the attested high avoidance of voicing mismatches, which are acoustically non-salient, we propose that, in Standard Modern Greek, perceptual salience is not purely phonetic, as it seems to be also based on the language-specific phonological grammar.


perceptual similarity; rap rhyme; Modern Greek; Gradient Harmonic Grammar; voicing; rhyme as reduplication

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.3765/amp.v9i0.5181

Copyright (c) 2022 Katerina Iliopoulou

License URL: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/