Abstract: Southern Subanen, spoken on the Philippine island of Mindanao, is the only Philippine language known to have contrastive aspiration, which is a rarity in the Austronesian family. While aspirated consonants are common in the world’s languages, Southern Subanen provides us with an uncommon glimpse at how aspirated consonants can develop. Their unique historical derivation in Southern Subanen is such that, in certain environments, aspiration marks semantic contrasts in verbal prefixes and even functions as a marker of nominalization. In this paper, we will analyze the historical sources of this aspiration and its realization in the modern language.
Oceanic Linguistics – University of Hawai'I Press
Published: Jan 27, 2010