Pre-stopping in Arabana*

Mark Harvey, Nay San, Margaret Carew, Sydney Strangways, Jane Simpson, Clara Stockigt

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    3 Citations (Scopus)


    Pre-stopping is a widespread and usually non-contrastive phenomenon in Australian languages. Contrastive pre-stopping is rare and materials on it are limited. Based partly on original phonetic data, this paper provides evidence that Arabana, a language of northern South Australia, has contrastive pre-stopping of both laterals and nasals. Current analyses of pre-stopping, both contrastive and non-contrastive, model pre-stopped sequences as complex segments, and relate their diachrony to perceptual motivations favouring the enhancement in the discrimination of place oppositions. We provide evidence that pre-stopped sequences in Arabana are best analyzed as heterosyllabic clusters, and that their diachrony centrally involves perceptual motivations favouring the augmentation of phonologically strong constituents, specifically stressed syllables.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)419-462
    Number of pages44
    JournalAustralian Journal of Linguistics
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2019


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