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Hawu Vowel Metathesis

Hawu Vowel Metathesis Abstract: Hawu, an Austronesian language spoken in the Lesser Sunda islands of Indonesia, shows a historical change in which the vowels of adjacent syllables appear to have metathesized. So far as is known, this is the first case of regular vowel metathesis ever reported. Apart from its regularity, what is most striking about this innovation is that it occurred only if V 1 was higher (less sonorous) than V 2 , and if the vowels were separated by a consonant. A fourth noteworthy feature is that the left-dislocated vowel invariably weakened to schwa, whereas similar vowels that remain in situ in either syllable were unaffected. No clear motivation for this change is apparent, and attempts to explain it as something other than direct segmental transposition have so far not met with success. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Oceanic Linguistics University of Hawai'I Press

Hawu Vowel Metathesis

Oceanic Linguistics , Volume 51 (1) – Jun 30, 2012

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Publisher
University of Hawai'I Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 University of Hawai'i Press.
ISSN
1527-9421
Publisher site
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Abstract

Abstract: Hawu, an Austronesian language spoken in the Lesser Sunda islands of Indonesia, shows a historical change in which the vowels of adjacent syllables appear to have metathesized. So far as is known, this is the first case of regular vowel metathesis ever reported. Apart from its regularity, what is most striking about this innovation is that it occurred only if V 1 was higher (less sonorous) than V 2 , and if the vowels were separated by a consonant. A fourth noteworthy feature is that the left-dislocated vowel invariably weakened to schwa, whereas similar vowels that remain in situ in either syllable were unaffected. No clear motivation for this change is apparent, and attempts to explain it as something other than direct segmental transposition have so far not met with success.

Journal

Oceanic LinguisticsUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Jun 30, 2012

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