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Fortuna, Marcin (2016): Icelandic post-lexical syllabification and vowel length in CVCV phonology. In: Linguistic Review, Vol. 33, No. 2: pp. 239-275 [PDF, 3MB]

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The paper aims at providing a CVCV analysis of the Icelandic syllabification phenomena and the distribution of vocalic quantity. Two syllabification algorithms are reported to exist in Icelandic: lexical and post-lexical (Arnason 1998, 2011). The article will focus on the post-lexical algorithm, which determines vowel length in derivatives with class 2 suffixation, compounds, and across word boundaries. A modified model of CVCV will be argued for, which combines the insights from Scheer's (2004, 2012) and Cyran's (2003, 2010) model. It will be proposed that phonological computation applies only once to the whole string (preferably the whole sentence) and that the activity of the interface boils down to representational intervention (in accordance with Scheerian Direct Interface). It will be proposed that manipulation of Final Empty Nuclei (at least in the form of distributing parametric government) is a possible interface operation, as assumed in earlier CVCV (Scheer 2004). The complex pattern of two syllabification algorithms in Icelandic arises via an intricate interplay of sonority profiles of consonants and the needs of intervening empty nuclei (some of which are parametrically governed, while some others are not).

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