Consonant–Vowel Place Feature Interactions


Both consonants and vowels are formed with constrictions in the oral cavity, made by the lips, the tongue blade, the tongue body, and/or the tongue root. Since they make demands on the same organs, it should not be surprising that the place features of consonants can influence those of vowels and vice versa. Indeed, such interactions are common: consonants and vowels frequently assimilate in place to one another, or dissimilate. But the empirical territory is not simple, and attempts to understand consonant–vowel place interactions (henceforth “C–V interactions”) have led to much unresolved debate in phonological theory.

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