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Linguistics Assignment

Linguistics Assignment

Question Description

  • Here is a partial list of generalizations about possible combinations of sounds in the codas of English syllables (30 pts):
    • If a syllable ends in two consonants, then
      • If the first consonant is nasal, then
        • both consonants have the same place of articulation: homorganic NC
          homorganic = “same place”
        • the non-nasal consonant is always an obstruent: NC-obstruent
          obstruent = consonant such as a stop, fricative, or affricate
        • if the non-nasal consonant is bilabial or velar, it must be voiceless: NC-voiceless
      • if the first consonant is an obstruent,
        • the second consonant must be a voiceless stop: CC-stop
        • both consonants must have the same voicing: CC-voicing
    • if a syllable ends in three consonants
      • the last consonant must be dental, alveolar, or palatal: CCC-place
      • the first pair and the second pair must satisfy all constraints on 2-consonant sequences: CCC-combo


Below are some invented words written in IPA, each of which violates at least one of the above generalizations, and hence is not an actual or possible monomorphemic word of English. For each of these words, try pronouncing it for your own amusement. Then state which of the above generalizations it violates (refer to the highlighted name of the generalization) and describe how it does so.

  1. kiɹlf
  2. pɛðesθ
  3. zeɪbk
  4. flaɪsh
  5. slʊgθb
  6. ʃɹænk
  7. sɪŋg
  8. əlaɪsz
  9. dɹʌmpf
  10. zɑlfk