Natural Language & Linguistic Theory

, Volume 12, Issue 3, pp 465–513 | Cite as

Stricture and nasal place assimilation

  • Jaye Padgett


Theories of feature organization typically treat stricture features like [continuant], [consonantal] and [approximant] as independent of place of articulation features. The best argument for this view centers on [continuant] and facts of nasal place assimilation — in particular, instances of nasal place assimilation to fricatives, where the nasal appears to remain a stop. However, a closer look at nasal place assimilation provides a strong argument against this standard view: across languages, place assimilation to fricatives is highly disfavored in comparison to assimilation to stops, and occurring nasal-fricative clusters behave like affricates. I show how a theory in which [continuant] is place-dependent can explain these facts, exploiting the notion of structure preservation. The treatment of stricture proposed brings feature geometry more in line with models based on facts of phonetics and vocal tract anatomy, e.g., the gestural model of Browman and Goldstein.


Artificial Intelligence Strong Argument Feature Organization Vocal Tract Articulation Feature 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jaye Padgett
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of LinguisticsStevenson CollegeSanta Cruz

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