Relating the Sonority Hierarchy to Articulatory Timing Patterns: A Cross-Linguistic Perspective
Ioana Chitoran [+]
Université Paris Diderot
It is known that the phonotactics of a number of languages cannot be accounted for by a strict interpretation of the sonority sequencing principle. In this chapter I will review cases of more or less extreme departure from the principle in a variety of languages, focusing on Caucasian languages. Caucasian languages present challenges to syllabification and sonority patterns, typically characterized as sonority reversals or plateaus. Relevant data include the existing consonant clusters of Georgian (South Caucasian) and the developing consonant clusters of Lezgi (Northeast Caucasian). I discuss experimental results of kinematic studies of data from Georgian. The results obtained so far suggest a view of sonority that refers to patterns of temporal coordination. I will propose a possible interpretation of the sonority scale as it relates to articulatory timing.