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Unexpected Final Vowel Retention in Malakula

John Lynch
Published Online: 2014-09-01 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/opli-2014-0001

Abstract

Almost all of the thirty or so languages of Malakula in Central Vanuatu show a rule deleting word-final Proto-Oceanic vowels, suggesting that wholesale final vowel deletion might be reconstructible to Proto-Malakula. Two sets of languages, however, show vowel deletion only in certain phonological contexts (and those contexts are different), and retain final vowels in other contexts: a group of four languages in the north, and the Ninde language in the southwest. This paper describes vowel deletion in these languages, and shows that the process of wholesale final vowel deletion, far from being an early rule in Malakula, must have occurred well after Proto-Malakula broke up into various descendant groups or languages, and that it probably occurred on at least seven different independent occasions.

Keywords: phonological change; Oceanic languages

References

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About the article

Received: 2014-05-06

Accepted: 2014-07-04

Published Online: 2014-09-01


Citation Information: Open Linguistics, ISSN (Online) 2300-9969, DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/opli-2014-0001.

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© 2014 John Lynch. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 License. BY-NC-ND 3.0

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