Gitksan Phonotactics. LINCOM Europa. 120pp.
ISBN 978 3 89586 589 3
This work presents an analysis of the phonotactics of Gitksan, a Tsimshianic language spoken in northern British Columbia, Canada, and is based on an electronic lexical database of the language compiled by the author. The results of this study reveal that Gitksan exhibits several gradient phonological restrictions on consonantal cooccurrence that hold over the lexicon. There is a gradient restriction on homorganic consonants, and within homorganic pairs, there is a gradient restriction on major class and manner features. It is claimed that these restrictions are due to a generalized Obligatory Contour Principle (OCP) effect in the grammar, and that this effect can be relativized to subsidiary features, such as place, manner, etc. It is argued that these types of effects are most naturally analyzed with the system of weighted constraints employed in Harmonic Grammar.
In addition to these dissimilatory effects, it is also claimed that Gitksan exhibits a gradient assimilatory effect among specific consonants. This type of effect is rare, and is unexpected given the general conditions of dissimilation in the language. One such effect is the frequency of both pulmonic pairs of consonants and ejective pairs of consonants, which occur at rates higher than expected by chance. Another is the occurrence of uvular-uvular and velar-velar pairs of consonants, which also occur at rates higher than chance. This pattern is somewhat surprising, as there exists an overall gradient prohibition on cooccurring pairs of dorsal consonants. These assimilatory patterns are analyzed using the Agreement by Correspondence approach, which mandates that output correspondents agree for some phonological feature.
"A short practical dictionary of the Gitksan language,"
Northwest Anthropological Research Notes7.1.1-60.
Hoard, James E. (1978)
"Obstruent voicing in Gitskan: Some implications for distinctive feature theory,"
in Eung-Do Cook and Jonathan Kaye (eds.)
Linguistic Studies of Native Canada
(Vancouver: University of British Columbia)
Hunt, Katharine (1990)
"The Status of Glottalized Glides in Gitksan,"
Western Conference on Linguistics3.152-161.
Hunt, Katharine (1991)
"Pronominal Arguments in Gitksan?"
Western Conference on Linguistics4.204-216.
Hunt, Katharine (1993)
Clause Structure, Agreement, and Case in Gitksan.
Unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, University of British Columbia.
"Glottalic Stops in Gitksan: An Acoustic Analysis,"
Proceedings of the 11th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences
Jóhannsdóttir, Kristin M. (2006)
`Aspect in Gitxsan,'
in Atsushi Fujimori & Maria Amália Reis Silva (eds.)
Proceedings of the Workshop on Constituency and Structure in the Languages of the Americas XI University of British Columbia Working Papers in Linguistics 19
Ethnobotany of the Gitksan Indians of British Columbia.
Hull, Quebec: Canadian Museum of Civilization.
Harlan Smith was an archaeologist with the National Museum of
Canada who in the 1920s documented ethnobiological knowledge and
use among the Gitksan, Nuxalk, and Ulkatcho Carrier. This book
is based on a manuscript left unpublished at the time of his death.
It has been edited, annotated, and
Brian D. Compton,
Wickstrom, Ronald (1974)
A Phonology of Gitksan, With Emphasis on Glottalization.
M.A. thesis, University of Victoria.