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Title:Markedness and the typology of epenthetic vowels
Authors:Linda Lombardi
Abstract:Using cross-linguistic evidence from the relationship of epenthetic vowel choice to the vowel system of a given language, this paper proposes a set of context-free markedness constraints on vowel features. Universally ranked constraints yield the result that front vowels are more marked than back and that round vowels are marked; languages may vary in how they rank the markedness of low and nonlow vowels. If low vowels are unmarked the epenthetic vowel is [a]. If nonlow vowels are unmarked, the epenthetic vowel is the least marked possible given the vowel system of the language. [barred-i] is epenthetic if present; [schwa] is epenthetic if it is present and [barred-i] is not; these vowels are unmarked on the backness and rounding dimensions. If neither ‘central' vowel is part of the system, the epenthetic vowel will generally be [i]: constraint conflict forces the choice of a more marked front vowel in order to avoid violations of markedness on the mid and round dimensions.
Type:Paper/tech report
Article:Version 1