Vowel hiatus resolution in kavalan

Hui Shan Lin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


This paper examines how vowel hiatus is handled in Kavalan, an endangered Formosan plains tribe language spoken by fewer than one hundred people on the eastern coast of Taiwan. Based on first-hand data, this paper shows that Kavalan is a language that typically disallows vowel sequences. Vowel hiatus is mainly resolved by gliding, but deletion occurs if the adjacent vowels are identical. While Kavalan generally disallows vowel hiatus, a low-high vowel sequence is tolerated before the word-final coda. The paper argues that the reason vowel hiatus unexpectedly occurs in such position is to prevent a post-vocalic vowel from gliding in a stressed syllable.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-93
Number of pages41
JournalTaiwan Journal of Linguistics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Deletion
  • Gliding
  • Kavalan
  • Optimality theory
  • Vowel hiatus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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