Constraints on contrast motivate nasal cluster dissimilation

Juliet Stanton

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    Many languages exhibit nasal cluster dissimilation, in which an illicit sequence of nasal-stop clusters is modified in some way (e.g. NC1VNC2 → N1VNC2). This article discusses generalisations in the typology of nasal cluster dissimilation, and claims that nasal cluster dissimilation is driven by constraints on contrast distinctiveness: It occurs preferentially in those environments where the first NC is most confusable with a plain nasal consonant. I propose an analysis that appeals to auditory factors, and provide acoustic and perceptual evidence that is consistent with it.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)655-694
    Number of pages40
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2020


    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Language and Linguistics
    • Linguistics and Language

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