Temporal Coordination and Markedness in Moenat Ladin Consonant Clusters


  • Rachel Walker University of California, Santa Cruz
  • Yifan Yang Shanghai Jiao Tong University




Moenat, Ladin, phonotactics, temporal coordination, syllable structure, sibilants, null parse, Harmonic Grammar


In this paper we examine the phonotactics of consonant clusters in Moenat Ladin in terms of their markedness and temporal coordination. Moenat Ladin word-initial clusters include sibilant-stop (SC), stop-/r/ (Cr), stop-/l/ (Cl), and sibilant-stop-/r/ (SCr). However, despite SC and Cl sequences being well-formed in Moenat, sibilant-stop-/l/ (SCl) clusters are almost entirely unattested. We hypothesize that the rarity of SCl clusters owes to a cumulative markedness effect that arises from the combination of marked structures involved in SC and Cl sequences. Our investigation centers chiefly on the status of word-initial SC sequences in Moenat Ladin, for which we hypothesize that the sibilant is organized external to the syllable onset. This hypothesis is supported by an acoustic study of temporal coordination of Moenat, employing the methodology of Ruthan et al. (2019) and Durvasula et al. (2021). We propose a formal account in Harmonic Grammar (Legendre et al. 1990) such that SCl clusters exceed a markedness threshold in contrast to permissible clusters. In this account we employ a model of phonotactics in which a phonotactically non-permissible cluster is modeled as selection of the null parse (e.g. Albright 2008, 2012, Breiss & Albright 2022).






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