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Feet, syllables, moras and the Estonian quantity system

By Külli Prillop

Abstract

Abstract. The Estonian language is unique in that it differentiates between three degrees of length in vowels, as well as in consonants. Phonologically, the ternary system of Estonian quantity has been interpreted in a variety of manners, but a generally accepted description has yet to be found. In the present paper, I argue for the approach that overlong segments arise due to foot-final lengthening in monosyllabic feet. Foot-final lengthening is not simply a matter of phonetic implementation. The lengthening may be the result of the addition of a mora at the end of the foot or from the strength of the final mora. I focus my discussion on the second case, which links footfinal lengthening and quantity degrees to the well-known Iambic-Trochaic Law. 1

Year: 2013
OAI identifier: oai:CiteSeerX.psu:10.1.1.352.4433
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