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Book: Romance-Germanic Bilingual Phonology

Chapter: Medial Coda and Final Stops in Brazilian Portuguese-English Contact

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.27355


Our research investigates [i]-epenthesis after medial coda and word-final [p] and [k] by Brazilian-Portuguese ESL learners in Montreal (e.g., doctor [dɑkitər] or magic [mægiki]). When learners eventually overcome [i]-epenthesis, clearly they learn to syllabify medial [p] and [k] in chapter and doctor as codas. Two competing analyses, however, have been proposed for the syllabification of final [p k]: these are either i) codas or ii) onsets of empty nuclei. Under the first analysis, learners should acquire medial coda and final stops together, since these share a prosodic representation. We found, however, that medial coda stops were acquired well before final stops, a finding that provides important confirmation of the view that final stops are onsets of empty nuclei rather than codas.

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