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Some sound laws specifically operate only in pausa. For example, certain phonemes may be pronounced differently at the beginning or the end of a word if no other word precedes or follows within the same prosodic unit, as in the citation form. That is the case with the final-obstruent devoicing of German, Turkish, Russian, and other languages whose voiced obstruent consonants are devoiced pre-pausa and before voiceless consonants.
The opposite environment is relevant in Spanish; its voiced fricatives become stops post-pausa and after nasals. Such environments are often termed pre-pausal and post-pausal, respectively. The phrases in pausa and pausal form are often taken to mean at the end of a prosodic unit, in pre-pausal position, as pre-pausal effects are more common than post-pausal effects.
In English, the last stressed syllable before a pausa receives tonic stress, giving the illusion of a distinction between primary and secondary stress. In dialects of English with linking or intrusive R (a type of liaison), the r is not realized in pausa even if the following word begins in a vowel. Similarly, French liaison does not operate in pausa.
In Arabic, Biblical Hebrew, and other Semitic languages and in Egyptian, pausa affects grammatical inflections. In Arabic, short vowels, including those carrying case, are dropped before a pausa, and the gender is modified. The Arabic alphabet has a letter ة (tāʾ marbūṭa تاء مربوطة) for the feminine that is classically pronounced [h] in pausa but [t] in liaison. In Biblical Hebrew, /laχ/ (לָךְ) is the general feminine form of 'to you' but also the pausal masculine form.
In Spanish, voiced fricative/approximants [β̞, ð̞, ɣ̞, ʝ̞] are pronounced as stops [b, d, ɡ, ɟʝ] after a pausa, as well as after a nasal.
In Tuscan, the full infinitive form of the verb occurs only pre-pausa.
- pausa, Charlton T. Lewis, Charles Short, A Latin Dictionary, on Perseus
- παῦσις, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek–English Lexicon, on Perseus
- cf. Elisha Qimron (2007), Aharon Maman; Steven E. Fassberg; Yohanan Breuer (eds.), "The Nature of Pausal Forms", Sha‘arei Lashon: Studies in Hebrew, Aramaic and Jewish Languages Presented to Moshe Bar-Asher, vol. 1 (in German), Jerusalem: Bialik Institute, pp. 92–106, 95-99.
- Watson & Bellem, "Glottalisation and neutralisation", in Hassan & Heselwood, eds, Instrumental Studies in Arabic Phonetics, 2011.
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