Laryngeal Markedness and aspiration

by Bet Vaux and Bridget Samuels. Link goes to CJO abstract. Mentions data from Australian languages. 


We argue that the common phonological assumptions that (i) plain voiceless consonants are less marked than voiceless aspirates and (ii) the unmarked two-way stop system opposes unaspirated voiced and voiceless members are incorrect. A wide range of phonetic and internal and external phonological evidence suggests instead that (i) the maximally unmarked single-series stop is unspecified for laryngeal features and (ii) the unmarked two-way stop system opposes aspirated and unaspirated stops, and the aspirated series may be the unmarked member of this set.