Phonotactic constraints on syllable structure

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Scopus citations


Phonotactic constraints are restrictions on the sequences of segments allowed in a particular language. This chapter reviews phonotactic constraints on Spanish syllable structure organized around two major types: those driven by sonority, a factor that plays an important role in determining the sequencing of segments in and within syllabic constituents; and those that refer to specific segments and their featural makeup, often reflecting the affinity or lack of it between a specific feature and a syllabic position. The phonotactics of segments and features are discussed in connection with the phonotactics of the onset, nucleus, and coda, simple and complex, noting that some phonological processes in Spanish (e.g., nasal assimilation, obstruent coda neutralization) are ultimately a consequence of segmental and featural phonotactics. In addition, this chapter summarizes recent work pertinent to dialectal variation in phonotactics, in connection with complex onsets in some varieties of Chilean Spanish and prevocalic postconsonantal glides in Sonoran Mexican Spanish. Arguments and preliminary experimental results are introduced regarding the proposal that glides could be part of a complex onset in this variety (instead of the nucleus, as in most varieties of Spanish).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Handbook of Spanish Phonology
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781351855167
ISBN (Print)9780415785693
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities
  • General Social Sciences


Dive into the research topics of 'Phonotactic constraints on syllable structure'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this