The role of prosody in conditioning Tagalog o/u variation

Author(s): Darlene Intlekofer and Jason Bishop

Abstract

The present study explored the role of prosodic structure in conditioning a segmental pattern in Tagalog, namely the raising of non-final back vowels. In particular, we investigated durational patterns in compound reduplications, which show variable application of this raising, e.g., hal[u]halo ~ hal[o]halo ‘ice dessert’. Previously, it has been proposed that this variation may be due to lexically-sensitive prosodic structure assignment; during lexical access, some compounds are more likely to be accessed as single prosodic units (placing the vowel in the first-copy reduplicant in non-final position), while some tend to be accessed as individual prosodic units (placing the same vowel domain-finally, where it should undergo raising) [1]. We present instrumental phonetic data that seem to support this proposal: compound reduplications with the [o] variant in the first copy show some durational correlates of a prosodic boundary (final-lengthening in the first copy, but not initial strengthening in the second).

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