Identity within the rhyme

[ Via LINGUIST List ]

In Mamainde, a Northern Nambiquara language of Brazil, a coronal (or ‘default’) coda will always get its place features from the nucleus, even when feature sharing with the following onset would be expected. Nasal codas also share the oral/nasal feature of the nucleus, (often producing oral/nasal contour segments, or pre-oralized nasals).

This raises the slight possibility that these various and seemingly independent instances of feature sharing between nucleus and coda might be linked by the effects of a broader tendency for identicalness within the Rhyme.

I am curious as to whether such a tendency has ever been documented in other languages? Is anyone familiar with any languages where an assimilation rule MUST reference the rhyme (not just the syllable or VC adjacency)?

I am particularly interested in any possible markedness constraint, or other broad phonological motivation, which pertains specifically to the rhyme – holding between the nucleus and the coda, requiring them to be identical in certain ways or share certain features in the output.

A summary of responses will be posted.

Dave Eberhard
S.I.L. field linguist

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