Article published in:The Form of Structure, the Structure of Form: Essays in honor of Jean Lowenstamm
Edited by Sabrina Bendjaballah, Noam Faust, Mohamed Lahrouchi and Nicola Lampitelli
[Language Faculty and Beyond 12] 2014
► pp. 193–208
Staying away from the weak left edge
A strengthening strategy
The left edge of the word is a strong position; it tends to resist phonological processes and be the left anchor in the formation of hypocoristics, in Hebrew (e.g. [matitjáhu] → [máti]) as well as in other languages. However, when the left edge of the base name hosts a weak segment, it has a good chance of being truncated (e.g. [jisʁaéla] → [ʁéli]). Truncation at the left edge (apheresis), as I show, is gradual; the weaker the segment at the left edge of the base, the greater the tendency to truncate this edge. Truncation at the left edge, as I argue, is a strengthening strategy – strengthening by avoiding the weak.
Published online: 17 December 2014
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