Motivating and Explaining the Structure of Segment Sequences
Mark J. Jones [+]
City University London
Sonority remains the cornerstone of the analysis of syllable structure and syllabification, despite the existence of a circularity in definitions of sonority and a large number of long-standing problems with the sonority hierarchy. This chapter reviews evidence not just for sonority but for syllables themselves, both in perception and production, and argues that the role of segmental events has been underestimated in analysing syllable structure. Alternatives to sonority do exist and these alternatives offer insights into the motivation for many processes which otherwise appear mysterious.