A Grammar of Saramaccan Creole by McWhorter, John; Good, Jeff

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By McWhorter, John; Good, Jeff

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Da̗ ˾ ‘rapids’; hási ‘horse’ vs. ha̗ ˾ si ‘ant’ u/NJ háfu ‘half’ vs. ah‫‘ ܞ‬grass’; núsu ‘nose’ vs. nj‫ܞ‬su ‘news’ o/õ jajó ‘loose living’ vs. aj۲ ‘onion’; kóto ‘skirt’ vs. k۲tu ‘legend’ э/э˾ násэ ‘or’ vs. nasƭ̗э˾ ‘nation’; mэ̗sэ ‘mix’ vs. mэ̗ ˾ э˾sэ ‘never’ Examples of minimal or near minimal pairs/sets across short and long vowels for each of the vowel qualities are given in Table 6. 3. ) Generally (and perhaps exclusively), these extra long sequences are the result of a relatively recent sound change wherein intervocalic alveolars were deleted (see the section on l for further discussion).

Máta ‘mortar,’ mbulu ‘receding hairline’ vs. múlu ‘uterus,’ and namá ‘touch’ vs. nambá ‘strap’; and hэ̗ndi ‘hunt’ vs. hэ̗ni ‘bee,’ pína ‘pin’ vs. pindá ‘peanut,’ and kándúu ‘amulet type’ vs. ’ However, there are still some potentially noteworthy gaps in attested contrasts – for example, the lack of an n/nd distinction before a word-initially given that there are many words beginning with na in the language (in contrast to nu, for example, which is much less common to begin with, rendering the lack of n/nd distinction word-initially before u less striking).

E. ‫ܡ‬ƾ#). While we have not examined this phenomenon extensively, we did encounter this as a possibility for a word Rountree cites, sͅғ ‘shame,’ for example, as well as with the word agba̗ ˾ ‘pot type,’ when informally examined with one consultant. Thus, a nasalized vowel followed by a velar nasal appears to be a possible allophonic variant of vowel nasalization, at least word-finally in careful speech. Examples of words containing each of the seven vowel qualities nasalized are given in Table 3.

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