Departmental Bulletin Paper On Characterizing Sanskrit Gemination

鈴木, 保子  ,  Yasuko, Suzuki

102pp.1 - 18 , 2015-09 , 関西外国語大学・関西外国語大学短期大学部
In Sanskrit, various intervocalic biconsonantal clusters are affected by gemination, which istypically summarized by phonetic treatises as follows. First, postvocalic consonants followedby another consonant is geminated as in sapta- `seven' > sappta- and cakra- `wheel' > cakkra- .Second, consonants that follow r or h is geminated, as in artha- `purpose' > arttha- and jihma-`oblique' > jihmma- . In addition to these two major rules, there are subsidiary processes anddifferent dialects show different variations. Given that Sanskrit gemination affects consonantclusters, earlier studies have analyzed the process in terms of syllable structure, but there arecounterexamples that indicate that the syllable-only approaches are inadequate. This paper reexamines the conditioning factors and restrictions of Sanskrit geminationand concludes that the following three tendencies, which are independent and partly overlapor contradict, interact to produce the observed extensiveness and variations. First, as some ofthe earlier syllable-based approaches claim, syllable-initial and especially word-initial consonantis geminated. Second, consonants with an oral gesture, especially an oral closure, are preferredtargets over those without one, which is in accordance with the cross-linguistic tendency ofgemination. Third, the first consonant of the cluster tends to be geminated, which is attributedto the articulatory and perceptual problems associated with preconsonantal consonants.

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