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Phonetic and phonological considerations on the moraic status of pre-NC vowels in Bemba

Hamann, Silke and Kula, Nancy (2021) 'Phonetic and phonological considerations on the moraic status of pre-NC vowels in Bemba.' Stellenbosch Papers in Linguistics Plus, 62. pp. 57-74. ISSN 2224-3380

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The pre-NC vowel in many Bantu languages, among which Bemba, is generally understood to be long. In Bemba, where there is also a vowel length contrast, this raises the question whether the pre-NC vowel is phonetically as long as lexical long vowels and how phonologized this length might be. This paper presents an evaluation of whether the pre-NC vowel is monomoraic or bimoraic by considering both phonetic and phonological evidence. The findings are mixed but lean towards a monomoraic treatment of the pre-NC vowel based on some segmental and tonal evidence. One set of tonal data, however, show variation in moraicity, presenting a mixed picture that we conclude emanates from the intermediate length of the pre-NC vowel and the nuanced interpretation this entails in phonology.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Bemba language; phonetics; phonology; vowel length; mora; consonant cluster
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences
Faculty of Social Sciences > Language and Linguistics, Department of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 21 Sep 2021 13:25
Last Modified: 29 Apr 2022 21:08

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