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By Merlan, Francesca C.

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Extra resources for A Grammar of Wardaman: A Language of the Northern Territory of Australia

Example text

Degemination Wherever geminate clusters of homorganic stops or nasals arise as the result of morpheme combination, the cluster is usually simplified to a single segment. ). It might be claimed that no underlying clusters of homorganic consonants occur in Wardaman; or, more conservatively, that there are no lexical stems with such underlying clusters. Below, this section, a small number of homorganic apical nasal plus nasal clusters are suggested to be underlying structurally in pronominal prefix combinations to the verb, a proposal in keeping with a way of envisioning basic patterning; hence the alternative statement of the claim.

Waray 'ask' vs. 4. Phonotactics: Consonant clusters There are no morpheme-initial consonant clusters except for the very rare combination gl, so far attested in only two forms: -gle 'putrid, rotten', and medially in the (obligatorily reduplicative) particle lowaglowa 'play', gle- has never been found to occur 20 Chapter 2 word-initially, but rather is always preceded by one of the noun class prefixes (yi-gle, wu-gle). There is also a place name wugleni 'Johnstone Hole', which might be related etymologically to the root -gle.

The post-nasal environment is one of neutralization of the apical contrast. Given this, we can say that the de-retroflexion of stem-initial apicals in verbs following nasal-final prefixes is not a specialized word-level phonological process, but part of a general phonotactic limitation. Examples of the relevant environment within verbs are: nga-wun-dagbarla-n Ί keep them', ngang-dagbarla-n Ί am keeping, looking after you (SG)'. , some related processes are discussed. A rule which covers cases of de-retroflexion of basically retroflex consonants as discussed so far may be stated as follows: ΓΝ P-l [+Retro] > [-Retro] / \ l# Here, as noted, # is to be understood not simply as word boundary, but as such a boundary following noticeable pause.

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A Grammar of Wardaman: A Language of the Northern Territory of Australia by Merlan, Francesca C.


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