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Syllable Structure

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Chapter Summary

This chapter discusses syllabic patterns, word initial clusters of consonants, word internal clusters of consonants, the elision of laryngals, and some other contractions and elisions. Clusters of two consonants often occur at the beginning of a word. The cluster is sometimes pronounced without being broken by an epenthetic vowel. Monosyllabic words with initial clusters are widely tolerated in other categories of word such as particles. The sequence VCCCV in word internal position is found in certain inflections of stem III and quadriliteral verbs. It may be syllabifi ed VCC.CV or VC.CCV. The shortness of the vowel in the fi rst syllable must be regarded as a fossilized vestige of the period when the syllable was closed, indicating that vowel lengthening is not always in step with changes in syllable structure.

Keywords: clusters of consonants; elision; laryngals; quadriliteral verbs; syllable structure

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