• Galician coda restrictions and plural clusters

      Colina, S.; Simonet, M.; Univ Arizona, Dept Linguist (WALTER DE GRUYTER, 2014-11)
      The present study investigates the phonology and phonetics of Galician post-vocalic velar nasals. Galician has very strict coda restrictions – it does not allow for complex codas. One exception to this restriction is found in the plurals of words ending in a nasal consonant, which add /s/ to the “right” of a noun or adjective: man ‘hand’, mans ‘hands’; pan ‘bread’, pans ‘breads’. The present study puts forward a proposal, initially based on synchronic, formal phonological grounds, according to which post-vocalic, pre-/s/ nasals in plural forms are not nasal stops, but nasal glides. Their nature as nasal glides allows for their syllabification in the nucleus rather than in the coda, thus preserving (i.e., not violating) the restriction on complex codas. This proposal is then tested with a production experiment based on quantitative acoustic data. The acoustic study reveals indeed a difference in the degree of weakening of post-vocalic nasals, with pre-/s/ nasals in the plural forms showing a significantly higher degree of weakening than pre-/s/ nasals in the singular forms. The article concludes with an Optimality-Theoretic analysis of the phonological facts.