Primary split revisited
Textbook treatments generally state that primary split, or split-merger leads to positional neutralization, but has no effect on phoneme inventory. However, if the phonemes affected by a primary split have a defective distribution at the time of the change the result may be loss of contrast, or inventory reduction. This potential is illustrated with artificial data, but involves no assumptions that are contrary to common types of sound change.
Keywords: sound change, split-merger, neutralization, phoneme inventory, phonemic redistribution, defective distribution, reductive primary split
Published online: 08 June 2012
Cited by 2 other publications
de Carvalho, Fernando O.
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