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A comparison of glottalized resonants in Sänčatän and St’át’imcets Caldecott, Marion Gerda

Abstract

This thesis is a comparison of the glottalized resonants in Sancaean and St'at'imcets, two Salish languages. The Licensing by Cue hypothesis as proposed by Steriade (1997) accounts for the distribution of glottalized resonants based on their phonetic cues. The goal of this thesis is to apply the Licensing by Cue hypothesis to the glottalized resonants in Sancaean and St'at'imcets, and evaluate its success in accounting for these two languages. Sancaean is a North Straits, Coast Salish language which does not permit glottalized resonants word-initially. St'at'imcets is an Interior Salish language which allows glottalized resonants word-initially but only in a particular morphological context. Licensing by Cue suggests that glottalized resonants do not occur word initially because of a lack of a supportive context for cues. The distribution of resonants glottalized as a part of a morphological process, namely the actual in Sancaean and the inchoative in St'at'imcets, should also be governed by the same phonetic factors. This thesis first examines the glottal timing of glottalized resonants in both languages. Preliminary phonetic evidence is given for glottalized resonants in Sancaean, which confirm that glottalization is attracted to stress. In contrast, in St'at'imcets, it is perceived that glottalization is repulsed by stress. Modifications are proposed, which enable the hypothesis to account for the timing of glottal events. It is argued, however, that even after such modification, the Licensing by Cue hypothesis is not sufficient to account for the distribution of non-derived glottalized resonants. The same is shown to be true for derived glottalized resonants. The distribution of glottalized resonants is governed by the interaction of three levels of constraints: phonetic constraints, which determine glottal timing, and phonological and morphological constraints, which govern the distribution of glottalised resonants. Also briefly discussed in this thesis are issues related to the relationship between /ʡ/ and glottalized resonant, whether [cg] or [creak] should be used to characterise glottalised resonants, and the Proto-Salish morpheme for the imperfective. Based on the research presented in this thesis, it is concluded that Sancaean and St'at'imcets glottalised resonants do not show strong support for a hypothesis which argues for a strong phonetic presence in phonology. While a cue-based approach can account for the phonetic timing of glottal events for glottalized resonants, segment distribution is determined by phonological and morphological constraints.

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