Splitting ‘intervocalic’: Expanding the typology of lenition environments

Katalin Balogné Bérces, Patrick Honeybone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The basic types of lenition environments (‘initial’, ‘intervocalic’, ‘final’) need to be separately evaluated as they differ along parameters like word position (e.g., pre-consonantal vs. final codas) or stress relations. This paper argues that we need to recognise an additional such parameter: the length of the vowel preceding an intervocalic consonant. We show that a number of phenomena from varieties of English and German show lenition patterns which draw a distinction between reflexes found in post-short (vc) and post-long (vvc) environments. The theoretical consequence of our observations is that phonological theory needs to be able to account for the post-short vs. post-long distinction in the form of a parametrically-determined representational difference.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-48
Number of pages22
JournalActa Linguistica Hungarica
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2012


  • phonology
  • lenition
  • intervocalic
  • stress
  • Germanic


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