ONSET CLUSTERS IN ENGLISH AND SERBIAN

  • Aleksandar M. Zivanovic
Keywords: onset clusters, English, Serbian, sonority, demisyllables

Abstract

The aim of this paper is to provide a comparison of onset clusters in English and Serbian within the theoretical framework that employs the concept of sonority. According to the Sonority Sequencing Principle (Kiparsky, 1979; Selkirk, 1984; Clements, 1990), consonant sequences can be divided into core clusters, sonority reversals and sonority plateaus. In order to divide onset clusters into these three groups, we used the principles referring to possible consonant clusters provided in Roach (2009) and the classification of consonant clusters in Petrović & Gudurić (2010). The classification shows that the majority of sequences in English and Serbian represent core clusters. All three types of clusters are more numerous in Serbian. Dispersion of demisyllables in the two languages was calculated with the aim of determining their complexity. Complexity ranking indicates that more complex structures tend to occur less frequently in both languages. On the other hand, the simpler demisyllables can be found in a larger number of words.

Published
2019-12-24