Noam Faust (Université Paris 8)
Guttural Ghosts in Hebrew Hiati
Abstract - Modern Hebrew was revived on the basis of Biblical Hebrew. Although no gutturals sounds were recovered into Modern Hebrew, the phonological effects of gutturals have survived as productive processes. As a result, Modern Hebrew abounds in hiati involving both lexical and epenthetic vowels. This paper asks how there can be regular guttural effects without guttural consonants. Following Prunet (1996) and Faust (2005), gutturals are represented synchronically as a vowel /a/ mapped to a consonantal position, where it cannot be realized. An analysis is proposed within Government Phonology (Kaye et al. 1990) in its “original” version (with the constituent R). It is shown that the realization of /a/ depends on the general conditions of syllabification of the theory. It emerges that Modern Hebrew has no hiati: surface hiati are either separated by a licensed, unrealized onset, or they are in fact tautosyllabic diphthongs. The analysis confirms predictions regarding the interaction between empty nuclei and empty onsets, a relatively unexplored scenario.