Introduction to the Principles of Phonological Descriptions by N. S. Trubetzkoy (auth.)

By N. S. Trubetzkoy (auth.)

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Czech). g. in Lithuanian, Latvian, Chinese, Japanese, Thai etc. PROSODIC FEATURES SECTION 31 27 The question as to whether a language uses only single vocalic phonemes or both these and true diphthongs as syllabics is an important one, and the answer: to it depends upon whether the phonetic diphthongs which occur in the language in question are to be classed as polyphonematic or monophonematic. In the light of what was said above (Chap. I, B), a vowel combination must be regarded as polyphonematic if, with the addition of a vowel or of a syllabic it is distributed over two syllables (Sec.

E. g. languages with initial stress, such as Lapp, Finnish, Hungarian, Slovakian, Czech, Lak, Chechen, Mongol, or with final stress, such as Turkmenian. g. Latin, Polabian, Ossetic etc. g. Avar, Artshi and Lesghian (K'iiri), in which only the first or second syllable of a word may be stressed, or Modern Greek, in which the stress can only be laid upon one of the last three syllables in a word. S In some languages of this prosodic type, quantitative freedom is limited by certain rules. In standard written Slovak, for instance, two long syllables may not stand side by side.

8-10 as regards monophonomatic classification, then it must be regarded as monophonematic, since, in such a case, it is treated from the prosodic point of view, in the same way as other single vowels (cf. Sec. II). With respect to polyphonematically-classified vowel combinations, two possibilities exist: either we are dealing with a true combination of vowel phonemes, or one of the components of this combination is the phonetic realization of a consonantal phoneme (j, w, r). The decision in such a case depends upon whether the contrast between i and i (or between v or wand u or between r and ~) is phonologically valid in the language in question and whether this language in addition to i- (or u- or ~-) diphthongs, also possesses i- (or w- or r-) combinations.

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