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Ulfsbjorninn, Shanti (2021) 'Lenition and metathesis in Hawu: A quantity-sensitive language.' SOAS Working Papers in Linguistics, 20. pp. 1-25.

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Abstract

Hawu shows highly unusual distributions of strength/weakness. Firstly, it appears unique in restricting schwa to stressed positions, excluding it elsewhere. Secondly, Hawu has undergone rampant intervocalic lenition of consonants, except after schwa where consonants are immune to lenition and are automatically geminated. This situation creates unusual synchronic structural contrasts. Hawu seems to be unique, appearing to violate a linguistic universal, however, this will be revealed to be due to its phonology-to-phonetics mapping known as virtual length. From a revised phonological perspective, Hawu’s strength distribution is actually commonplace: a quantity-sensitive language with metrical bolstering, like Italian. This offers an explanation for, firstly, the otherwise unrelated lack of (C)ə́V word-shapes; and, secondly, the strange diachronic condition on metathesis, that it only applies across consonants: *VαCVβ > VβCVα - *ika > [ə́k:i] ‘tie/bind’ vs. *VαVβ **(> VβVα) *bua > [búe] **[bə́u] ‘fruit’. Both facts are explained via quantity restrictions imposed by Hawu’s metrical system.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: phonology, Austronesian, Italo-Romance, quantity-sensitivity, metathesis, Strict CV
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > School of Languages, Cultures & Linguistics > Department of Linguistics
ISSN: 14730855
Copyright Statement: © 2021, the author.
DOI (Digital Object Identifier): https://doi.org/10.25501/SOAS.00035588
Date Deposited: 04 Oct 2021 12:17
URI: https://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/35588

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