The Phonology Of Aspiration In Icelandic: A Gesture-Based Approach
This dissertation examines aspirated consonants in Icelandic from several angles, including dialectal variation, language acquisition, and diachronic development. The main question addressed pertains to the articulatory organization of these consonants, more specifically how the relationship between laryngeal speech gestures and the oral gestures they are produced in tandem with can best be understood and represented in phonological terms. We propose an analysis of glottal gestures as subordinate speech gestures tied to oral head gestures and show how the coordination between these two types of gestures is determined by phonological constraints. We pay special attention to preaspirated stops in Icelandic and discuss how children's early acquisition of these stops compared to postaspirated stops sheds a light on patterns of articulatory coordination. Icelandic is ideal for examining the coordination of glottal gestures because it is rich in laryngeal contrasts. Its two main dialects, the Northern Dialect (ND) and the Southern Dialect (SD), differ primarily in the degree of aspiration on word-internal stop consonants. We present an analysis of these dialectal patterns, where variation in aspiration is explained in terms of the timing of glottal gestures relative to oral ones, we discuss the history of these differences from various angles, and propose sociolinguistic reasons for why they have occurred.
Tilsen,Samuel; Weiss,Michael L
Ph. D., Linguistics
Doctor of Philosophy
dissertation or thesis