Abstract: Although nearly all languages of Malakula in central Vanuatu regularly lose Proto-Oceanic (PO c ) word-final vowels, there is a group of four languages spoken along the north coast—Nese, Vovo, Botovro, and Vao—in which final vowels are retained if the vowel in the preceding syllable was high. These languages also show a paragogic vowel added after a PO c word-final consonant, but again only if the preceding vowel was high. I suggest in this short paper that paragogic vowels were added after all retained final consonants, that a sonority-driven stress shift moved stress from a high penult to a more sonorous nonhigh final vowel, and that only then were final unstressed vowels deleted.
Oceanic Linguistics – University of Hawai'I Press
Published: Aug 3, 2011