By Dimock, Laura Gail
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Extra resources for A Grammar of Nahavaq (Malakula, Vanuatu)
This makes it difficult to determine whether an initial glottal stop is phonemic or not. 7). For words with phonemic glottal stops like /ʔej/ ‘3SG’, the prefix is realised as [ti], and the glottal stop remains: [tiʔej] ‘POSS3SG’. 2. Vowel harmony and assimilation This section describes three areas where vowel assimilation occurs. In most cases, both the trigger and the target are non-high vowels. The first two areas of assimilation concern prefixes, which exhibit regressive assimilation. 7). The third area of vowel assimilation occurs across glottal consonants at both morpheme and word boundaries and exhibits both progressive and regressive assimilation.
So I suspect that these two words were borrowed from Na’ahai. 34 In this section, I refer to many things that happen at word boundaries. 8). It is likely that with the exception of the nonphonemic glottal stop, most of the morphophonemic processes described in this section could apply at any morpheme boundary. 359]. It is not clear whether there is an underlying final /h/ on some level or whether /h/ is the standard transition from a non-high vowel to another vowel. When high vowels are involved, a transition to another vowel is a glide, /w/ following /u/ or /j/ following /i/.
23 It is the conditioned neutralisation in “First change” and “Second change” that supports the case for split markedness with bilabial consonants being marked in non-front vowel environments and labiovelar consonants being marked in front vowel environments. 4. Instability Nahavaq’s labial distinction is unstable in three ways. First, there are a few words with labial consonants whose identity is not consistent even between the oldest speakers. These include the initial nasals in /marlambj/ ‘old man’ and /mas/ ‘laugh’, which some speakers produce as bilabial and others as labiovelar.
A Grammar of Nahavaq (Malakula, Vanuatu) by Dimock, Laura Gail