Een oud geminatieproces vanuit een synchroon perspectief

Ben Hermans


In Westgermanic gemination the first consonant of an intervocalic consonant cluster is lengthened. Recent analyses cannot account for the fact that, at some stage, the process must have been opaque. In this article, I pay full attention to opacity. I propose that gemination is the result of a strategy that reduces the markedness of an intervocalic cluster. This is expressed by licensing. Only the head of a word can license a complex onset. But it can only perform its licensing function if it houses at least part of the cluster. That is why the first consonant of the cluster lengthens.

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