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Open Access Cross dialect ambiguities of epenthesis

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Cross dialect ambiguities of epenthesis

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image of Journal of Greek Linguistics

In this article, I discuss some cases of cross-dialect ambiguous interpretations of epenthesis as found in the literature, and propose possible alternative interpretations. I confine myself largely to the hiatus cases of Cri/eV sequences, that is, a disyllabic domain embracing, for example, the two final consonants (Cr-) of a stem and a disyllabic affix (i/eV). Such cases are found in morphological formations: plural [δá-(kr-ia)], δakria, under derivation as with the suffix -tria: [xoref-(tr-ia)] xoréftria, or in simple words like kréas, ávrio. I propose that two main factors lead to these ambiguities: the preferred position of the epenthesis inside this disyllabic domain, and the strategy used to resolve the hiatus involved – that is either epenthesis (vocalic or consonantal) or glide-i formation. A further possible factor is interference from prosody and morphology. It is shown that an analysis taking the above factors into account can resolve ambiguities and cast light on similarities as well as differences in position of the epenthetic vowel between related dialects.


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