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Title:Uh-Oh: Glottal Stops and Syllable Organization in Sulawesi
Authors:Ellen Broselow
Abstract:Uh-oh: Glottal Stops and Syllable Organization in Sulawesi

Ellen Broselow
SUNY Stony Brook

Glottal stops pattern differently than other consonants in a number of languages spoken on
the Indonesian island of Sulawesi. In the Makassar languages of South Sulawesi, glottal stop
alternates with [k]; in the Kaili-Pomona language Uma of Central Sulawesi, stem-final glottal stop
is mobile, apparently metathesizing with material suffixed to the stem; and in the Central Sulawesi
Saluan language Balantak, glottal stop is invisible with respect to the second person possessive
affix, which is normally suffixed to vowel-final stems but infixed to consonant-final stems (other
than those ending in glottal stop). I argue that the various anomalies of the glottal stop result
from the fact that glottal stops lack oral place specification. This lack of oral place allows
consonants to coalesce with neighboring vowels without loss of place information, and makes
glottal stops undesirable onsets in languages (like these) which prefer to locate place contrasts in
syllable onsets.
Type:Paper/tech report
Article:Version 1