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Epenthetic vowels in Swahili loanwords

Title data

Harvey, Andrew:
Epenthetic vowels in Swahili loanwords.
In: Journal of Linguistics and Language in Education. Vol. 8 (2014) Issue 2 . - pp. 17-45.
ISSN 0856-9965
DOI: https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.2527487

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Abstract in another language

When adapting loans into Swahili, a series of vowels are inserted, resulting in forms that differ from those in the source languages (etymons). This work 1) identifies the nature of these inserted vowels, and 2) develops an explanation of the system behind the various phonetic realizations of these vowels. Vowels examined are (as the title suggests) epenthetic rather than excrescent. Typically, when Swahili loanwords are adapted via epenthesis, features cannot cross from one side of the stressed syllable (which in Swahili is the penult). Therefore, word-final epenthetic vowels must appropriate features from adjacent consonants. Consonants spreading coronal features will result in a coronal epenthetic vowel [i], consonants spreading labial features will result in a labial epenthetic vowel [u], and consonants spreading pharyngeal features will result in a pharyngeal vowel [a]. Dorsal consonants do not contribute a feature, and the feature [coronal] is inserted by default. In pre-stress environments, both vocalic and consonantal material is available for Feature-Spreading. Features of vowels spread more freely than features of consonants, so vowel-vowel feature spreading is more prevalent. Several idiosyncratic forms exist in which vocalic material that existed in the etymon seems to have survived in the realization of epenthetic vowels. A handful of suppletive forms exist which seem to break the constraint on crossing from one side of the stressed vowel to the other.

Abstract in another language

Wakati wa utohoaji wa maneno ya mikopo kwenda Kiswahili, irabu zinaweza kuingizwa. Matokeo yake ni maneno ambaye ni tofauti na yale ya lugha kopeshi (donor language). Kazi hii 1) inabainisha irabu zinazoingizwa, na 2) inafafanua mfumo ya udhihirishaji wa kifonetiki ya irabu hizi. Kama jina la makala inavyoeleza, irabu hizi ni za uchopekaji (epenthetic), sio za usazo (excrescent). Kwa kawaida, maneno yanapokopwa katika Kiswahili kwa njia ya uchopekaji, sifa (features) haziwezi kuvuka kutoka upande mmoja wa silabi yenye mkazo kwenda upande mwingine (ambayo kwa Kiswahili ni silabi ya pili kutoka mwisho). Kwa sababu hiyo, irabu za uchopekaji za mwisho ya neno hulazimishwa kuchukua sifa kutoka konsonanti ya karibu. Konsonanti zinazosambaza sifa za korona zinasababisha irabu ya uchopekaji ya korona [i], konsonanti zinazosambaza sifa la midomo zinasababisha irabu ya uchopekaji ya midomo [u], na konsonanti zinazosambaza sifa la koromeo zinasababisha irabu ya uchopekaji ya koromeo [a]. Konsonanti ya nyuma (dorsal) husambaza sifa lolote, na sifa za [korona] inaingizwa kama sauti ya msingi. Kwenye mazingira kabla ya mkazo, sifa za konsonanti pamoja na za irabu zinapatikana kwa ajili ya usambazaji wa sifa (Feature Spreading). Sifa za irabu yanasambazwa kwa urahisi zaidi kuliko sifa za konsonanti. Kwa hiyo, kwenye mazingira haya, usambazaji wa sifa za irabu kwenda irabu ya uchopekaji hutokea zaidi. Kuna maneno kadhaa ambapo inaonekana kwamba irabu za lugha kopeshi zinachukuliwa kama irabu ya uchopekaji. Baadhi ya maneno mbadala hayafuati kanuni inaokataza usambaaji wa sifa kutoka upande mmoja wa irabu yenye mkazo kwenda upande mwingine.

Further data

Item Type: Article in a journal
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: epenthesis; vowels; Swahili; loanwords; feature spreading
Institutions of the University: Faculties > Faculty of Languages and Literature
Faculties
Faculties > Faculty of Languages and Literature > Junior Professor African Languages and the Construction of Knowledge > Junior Professor African Languages and the Construction of Knowledge - Juniorprof. Dr. Andrew Harvey
Faculties > Faculty of Languages and Literature > Junior Professor African Languages and the Construction of Knowledge
Result of work at the UBT: No
DDC Subjects: 400 Language > 410 Linguistics
400 Language > 490 Other languages
Date Deposited: 27 Jun 2022 11:06
Last Modified: 13 Mar 2023 09:25
URI: https://eref.uni-bayreuth.de/id/eprint/70155