Article

Natural Language & Linguistic Theory

, Volume 13, Issue 4, pp 755-766

First online:

Cyclic syllabification in Mongolian

  • Jan-Olof SvantessonAffiliated withDepartment of Linguistics, Lund University

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Abstract

Mongolian is a language with a rich suffix-based morphology. Underlying forms can contain long consonant strings into which schwa vowels must be epenthesized in order to create well-formed syllables. Syllabification (including epenthesis) is governed by universal principles (the sonority law, maximality, and directionality) and a few language specific rules. Syllabification is cyclic in relation to the morphology, as is shown directly by minimal pairs having the same underlying segments but different syllabifications due to different morphological structure.