Glottal stops and codas

A query from Mark Donohue, via LINGUIST List:

Dear all,

Glottal stops in north Australian languages are phonotactically constrained to only appear in codas; some languages of adjacent Indonesia with glottal stops either show restrictions on their position (Sawu/Hawu: glottal stops cannot begin words) or evidence for repositioning (Palu’e: glottal stops cannot begin a word, and vowels preceding a medial glottal stop show closed-syllable allophones.

Does anyone know of anything addressing the position in which glottal stops may appear? I’m not talking about initial epenthetic glottal stops in languages such as Tagalog, but underlying segments that appear to disfavour onset realisations.

-Mark Donohue
Monash University

4 thoughts on “Glottal stops and codas

  1. Sharon Rose

    Steve Parker has a paper in Phonology 18 which addressed glottal restrictions in Chamicuro. Both phonemic glottal stop and /h/ can only appear in codas, not onset. He cites three other languages(p. 362) with a similar restriction: Tiriyo, Carib and Macushi.

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  3. Peter Austin

    Glottal stop in Sasak (Lombok, Indonesia) is even more restricted as it only occurs in morpheme-final coda position. The only medial glottals are those at the ends of morphemes in complex words, eg. gitaq-ang see-applicative ‘See x for y’, or between words and clitics, eg. gitaq-ang=meq see-applicative=2pro ‘See x for you’ where q represents glottal stop.

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