tenseness

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Their three initial syllables consisted of a simple onset and a tense vowel, while their final syllable was closed and contained a lax vowel (e.
Finally, lax vowels do not appear in open syllables, since lax vowels are followed by at least one consonant in word-final syllables, and they are presumably followed by at least an ambisyllabic consonant in word-medial syllables (see the literature starting with van der Hulst 1985).
is that implied in Lindau's (1978: 558) statement that `the lax vowels tend to be inside the tense vowels'" (1994: 177).
Lindau's view, in turn, is that "[l]ong and tense vowels are more peripheral in the auditory/acoustic vowel space, while short and lax vowels are more central" (1978: 557), so that "[t]he difference between tense and lax vowels is best labeled by a feature Peripheral" (1978: 558) which is "best described with reference to the acoustic domain" (1978: 541), that is, as the "amount of centralization on [an] acoustic chart" (1978: 559).