A Grammar of Nahavaq (Malakula, Vanuatu) by Dimock, Laura Gail

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Extra info for A Grammar of Nahavaq (Malakula, Vanuatu)

Example text

Coda restrictions Labial plosives /pj/ and /pw/ are not distinguished from their corresponding fricatives /βj/ and /βw/ in coda position. 28 Some speakers always use the voiceless stop variant. Others always use a fricative variant. βjen], ‘3SG-take ID’. A similar pattern of non-distinction of labial obstruents can be seen in Tape where the labial fricative and voiceless plosive are only differentiated in non-final position (Crowley 2006d: 102). Prenasalised stops are being lost in coda position in Nahavaq.

1. Isolated lexical examples A cluster of two consonants can occur in onset position when a high vowel is deleted.

This suggests that labiovelar consonants are unmarked before {/a/, /o/, /u/} and that bilabial consonants are unmarked before {/e/, /i/}. Table 13: Frequency of labial-V combination in borrowed words Shaded squares represent apparently marked combinations. Labiovelar-V Bilabial-V V-Labiovelar-# V-Bilabial-# /i/ 1 15 0 2 /e/ 0 11 0 2 /a/ 26 6 3 0 /o/ 5 0 1 0 /u/ 7 1 1 0 The distinction between labiovelar and bilabial consonants is being lost. The difference between oldest speakers (most distinctions) and youngest speakers (no distinction) with a couple intermediate stages suggests a change in progress, with the distinction disappearing in certain contexts before others.

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