Linguistic Discovery
Dartmouth College

Volume 14 Issue 1 (2016)        DOI:10.1349/PS1.1537-0852.A.470

Note: Linguistic Discovery uses Unicode characters to represent phonetic symbols. Please see Optimizing Display for requirements to accurately reproduce this page.

A Phonology of Ganza

A Phonology of Ganza (Gwàmì Nánà)

 

Joshua Smolders

SIL International

 

Ganza is a previously undescribed Omotic language of the Mao subgroup, and is the only Omotic language found primarily outside of Ethiopia. This paper presents the results of nearly a year of phonological fieldwork on Ganza in the form of a descriptive phonology. Included are presentations of the consonant and vowel phonemes, syllable structure and phonotactics, notable morphophonemic processes, and an overview of the tone system. Some interesting features of the phonology highlighted in this paper include the existence of a nasalizing glottal stop phoneme, lack of phonemic vowel length, a lexically determined vocalic alternation between ja~e, and the existence of "construct melodies" in the tone system. Given that both Omotic languages in general and especially the Mao subfamily are understudied, this paper provides much-needed data and analysis for the furtherance of Omotic linguistics.

1. Introduction

In spite of over forty years of research in Omotic languages and numerous calls for descriptive papers and reference grammars (Hayward 2009:85) to date not a single descriptive paper has ever been published on the Ganza language. Over the past decade many other previously under-described Omotic languages have been covered, such as Dizin (Beachy 2005), Dime (Mulugeta 2008), Sheko (Hellenthal 2010), and Bambassi Mao (Ahland 2012). Several others were known to be in process during the composition of this paper, including Ganza's closest relations Hoozo (Getachew 2015) and Sezo (Girma 2015). Ganza, nevertheless, remains functionally undescribed (see §1.2 for previous research).

 

In this paper I present an initial phonology of Ganza, including a description and analysis of consonant and vowel phonemes, word structure, notable morphophonemic processes, and the tone system. The paper is structured as follows: In the remainder of this introduction I detail the methods, persons, and organizations involved in this research (§1.1-§1.2), then discuss the small body of previous research (§1.3), the genetic classification of the language (§1.4), and the most current sociolinguistic, geographic, and demographic information available. In §2 I give a description of and evidence for the consonant phonemes (§2.1-§2.5) and then discuss the status of consonant length (§2.6). Likewise for the vowels I describe the phonemes (§3.1) and discuss a certain case of vocalic free variation (§3.2), the status of length (§3.3), diphthongs (§3.4), and the limited attestation of vowel assimilation (§3.5). Next I describe the shape of the word in terms of syllable structure (§4.1) and phonotactics (§4.2). In §5 I highlight two morphophonemic phenomena of particular interest, namely the stem allomorphy of a subset of nouns and verbs via final-vowel elision and vocalic alternation (§5.1), and the interaction of final-vowel elision, voice and manner assimilation, and final devoicing in suffixes and clitics (§5.2). Finally, I briefly cover the tonal system, describing the phonemic tone levels (§6.1), prominent tonal phenomena (§6.2), and the basic tone melodies attested on nouns (§6.3) and verbs (§6.4). Abbreviations and references are given after the conclusion in (§7).

1.1 Data Collection Details

All language data used for this paper was collected in Ethiopia by myself between June 2014 and June 2015. Most of the data was collected during four two-week sessions in Addis Ababa and one two-week session in Assosa, the rest being collected on a two-day trip to the Ganza villages in the Yabeldigis and Penshuba municipal districts.[1]

 

My primary language informants were Abdurman Bitu and Mengistu Abdulahi, two mother-tongue Ganza speakers from the municipal dstrict of Yabeldigis. Both men are also able to speak Gwama [kmq], some Oromo [orm], and limited Amharic [amh]. The initial language session was conducted with a translator who spoke with the Ganza in Gwama and with myself in Amharic and English. After this it was determined that the informants' Amharic and my growing capacity in Ganza would be sufficient for the remaining sessions. Other speakers whom I consulted infrequently included Siwar Bitu, Aya Buna, Hawa Yelke, and Simbara Biya, all from Yabeldigis, as well as Pidan and Dergu (father names unknown) from Penshuba.

 

All recordings were made using a USBpre microphone and processed with Audacity software and feature the voice of Abdurman Bitu.[2] All acoustic analyzes were done with SIL Speech Analyzer software.

1.2 Acknowledgements

This research was made possible by partnership with the Canada Institute of Linguistics, Addis Ababa University, and SIL Ethiopia, to whom I give my deepest thanks. I would like to thank the paper reviewers, whose comments and corrections helped significantly improve this paper, and my colleagues in the SIL Ethiopia linguistics department for their continuous feedback on my analysis. I would like to acknowledge my colleagues at SIL Ethiopia who assisted with the administrative aspects of the aforementioned research sessions, and Ramadan Haaron, a native Gwama speaker from Tongo who assisted as an interpreter for the first session. I also thank the Benishangul-Gumuz Regional State Ministry of Culture and Tourism and the officials in the Mao-Komo Special woreda (administrative district) for their co-opration during my visit to the Ganza villages. Finally I would like to thank my primary Ganza informants, Abdurman Bitu and Mangistu Abdulahi, for their patience, hard work, and amiability throughout the duration of the project, and the rest of the Ganza speakers involved for their cheerful participation.

1.3 Previous Research

In a 2007 survey proposal written by SIL Ethiopia, previous research on Ganza is described as almost entirely "coincidental to studies of other languages" (Magnusson et al 2007:1). This absence of original research presents a unique opportunity for documentation and analysis, which is the ambition of this paper. To my knowledge, the following is an exhaustive account of the published and unpublished works produced on the language:

 

A discussion of the classification and distribution of the Mao and Komo languages, including Ganza, was published recently by Küspert (2015). Prior to this a sociolinguistic survey of the Ganza, Komo, and "Baruun be Magtole" was conducted by SIL which included a wordlist of approximately two-hundred tokens (Krell 2011). Several other wordlists also exist, including an unpublished wordlist of around one hundred tokens and a short phonological and morphological description by Reidhead (1947), a wordlist of fifty tokens by James (1965), and an unpublished and unanalyzed African Comparative Word List of approximately seventeen-hundred words collected by David Ford (2013) from SIL Ethiopia (which I used with permission as a springboard for elicitation of my own data). An older work done by Burns in 1950 (as cited in Magnusson et al 2007) contained a language map which included the Ganza. Ganza is also mentioned in several broader works on Omotic language (see Hayward 2003 and Bender 2003). Finally, and perhaps most surprisingly, in the course of my research I encountered an unpublished manuscript entitled A Ganza Language Learning Manual by Loriann Hofmeister, a former SIM worker in Sudan (2010).[3] Though not a technical linguistic manuscript, this document contained some important glimpses into the syntax and morphology of the language as well as providing some basic vocabulary and a few texts. In addition, after contacting Hofmeister, I was able to obtain several other unpublished documents including demographic reports (2009), an excel sheet dictionary of approximately five-hundred items (also used as a basis for elicitation of my own data), and several other texts and recordings. From my research it appears that there are several dialectcal differences between the Reidhead and Hofmeister varieties of Ganza and that of my informants from Ethiopia.

1.4 Genetic Classification

Ganza (ISO 639-3 [gza]) is a Mao language of the Omotic family found in western Ethiopia and south-eastern Sudan (not to be confused with eastern South Sudan). According to the Ethnologue, its full classification is Afro-Asiatic, Omotic, North, Mao, West, Ganza (Lewis 2014), though I suspect along with Bender (2000:180) and Ahland (personal communication) that further inquiry will result in its reclassifiction as a sister language of Bambassi. The remainder of this section is a summary of the history of the Omotic family and Mao sub-family.

 

Figure 1 – Mao classification, adapted from Lewis (2014).

Omotic has been described as the "weakest" or "most divergent" language family of the Afro-Asiatic phylum (Fleming 1976:299) and for the past fifty years it has also remained one of the most under-studied (Bender 2000:1). Originally called "West Cushitic" and classified as a branch of Cushitic, Fleming (1969, 1974) proposed that it be reorganized as a primary branch of Afro-Asiatic called "Omotic", a name chosen in reference to the Omo river valley (Bender 1975:39).[4] More recently scholars such as Thiel (2006, 2012) have questioned whether Omotic can even rightly be classified as Afro-Asiatic, maintaining that to date "no convincing arguments have been presented in favour of this Afroasiatic Affiliation Hypothesis" (2012:369).

 

Within Omotic the Mao sub-family (Bender's O8) is the most "data deficient" (Bender 2000:179, 221) and "undocumented" (Bender 2003:266) of all the sub-families, thus making its classification within Omotic problematic. In Figure 1, Mao is shown under "North Omotic" parallel to the Dizoid and Gonga-Gimojan sub-families in accordance with the Ethnologue's classification (Lewis 2014). In both Bender (2003:1) and Hayward (2003:242), however, it is proposed as a primary branch of Omotic (see Figure 2 and Figure 3 below). It is not my intention in this paper to support any particular one of these classifications, only to address the lack of documentation which causes difficulty in classification.

 

Figure 2 - Mao classification, adapted from Bender (2003:1).

 

Figure 3 - Mao classification, adapted from Hayward (2003:242). Ganza is not mentioned in this work.

 

The name "Mao" bears some historical baggage. Originally it was used to refer to the language now known as Anfillo [myo], then classified as a Koman language of the Nilo-Saharan phylum but now determined to be an Omotic language of the Kefoid sub-group (Bender 2000:179). The name is now most commonly used in reference to the sub-group of Omotic containing Hoozo, Sezo, Bambassi, and Ganza, as in Hayward and Bender above. This seems to be an appropriate usage given that in Sezo mawa means 'peoples' (Bender 2000:179), in Hoozo móó means 'person' (Getachew 2015:2), and in Bambassi màw is used as an unparsable autonym for all four languages of the group— namely Bambassi /màw-és ꜜaːtsʼ-è/ 'Mao language', Hoozo and Sezo /bègí màw-és aːtsʼ-è/ 'Mao language of Begi', and Ganza /sówès màw-es aːtsʼ-è/ 'Mao Language of Sowes' (Ahland 2012:7). While I have not found a definite cognate of mawa or màw in Ganza, there is an unparsable element meaning something like 'person' found in the words /màláꜜ/ 'toddler',  /màmàꜛ/ 'child',  /màlíꜜ/ 'son', and  /màkíꜜ/ 'daughter'.[5]

1.5 Sociolinguistic, Geographic, and Demographic Background

The Ganza are a small yet linguistically viable language group. This is to say that the language is being transmitted to the next generation and the people are generally proud of their linguistic and cultural heritage (Krell 2011:14). The Ethnologue lists their endangerment level as "6a", meaning the language is used vigorously in all generations but remains unstandardized (Lewis 2014). The Ganza's autonym is /ɡwàmìꜛ/ and they call their language /ɡwàmìꜛ nánà/ meaning 'mouth of the Gwami'. According to the people themselves the term "Ganza" is a name given to them by Arabic speakers of Sudan (Krell 2011:10).[6] Although the Ganza live in an Oromo speaking area of Ethiopia and are adjacent to the Berta, Gwama, Komo, and Uduk language groups (see Figure 4 below), most Ganza consider themselves to be functionally monolingual (Krell 2011:13). According to my experience and that of Hofmeister (2009) this holds true, with only a select number of Ganza speakers utilizing a trade language such as Gwama, Sudanese Arabic, Uduk, Komo, Afan Oromo, or very rarely Amharic.

 

Figure 4 – The geo-political and linguistic environment of the Ganza.[7]

The Ganza are presently a cross-border group, dwelling in both the Blue Nile region of Sudan (Kurmuk District, between the Yabus and Daga rivers) and in the extreme western parts of the Benishangul-Gumuz region of Ethiopia. They are the only Omotic language whose primary population is found outside of Ethiopia. On the Sudan side, they inhabit the villages of Damo ( Dahmoh), Gondollo, Cape, Hilla Jadid, Bogida, Dash, Bulu Bulu, Belatuma (not to be confused with the Uduk village of the same name), Labatz, Musa Ollo, Lakai, Gwasha, Papan, Duga Belle (or Tugubele), Tukul Ha'a, Mushura, Darsuma (Darsoma), Namu, Hilla Ful, and Boto Ka'a (Hofmeister 2009). In addition to these Krell reports two villages by the names of Korbum and Yeshkab (Krell 2011:10). On the Ethiopian side they are reported to live in Yamasala (Krell 2011:10) but when I visited the Mao-Komo Special woreda the Ganza there reported that in Ethiopia they are only found in Yabeldigis and Penshuba.[8]

 

Although the precise population of the Ganza is still unknown, it seems that they are much more numerous than previously thought. Recent estimates based on linguistic surveys have ranged between three-thousand (Krell 2011) and five-thousand four-hundred (Jordan et al 2004), with around four-hundred of these living on the Ethiopia side and the balance in Sudan. These numbers are a far cry from previous estimates of "150-170 strong men" and "nearly extinct" (Bender 2000:179). This range is confirmed by a synthesis of Krell's, Hofmeister's, and my own data. Krell reported that in the village of Doma alone there were approximately five-hundred twenty-two people (Krell 2011:11). However, Krell only seemed to be aware of five Sudanese villages and one Ethiopian. Hofmeister, on the other hand, has verbal reports from Ganza speakers in Sudan who compared twenty other villages to the village of Gondollo (Hofmeister 2009). Neither Hofmeister nor Krell mention the two villages where my informants live, Penshuba and Yabeldigis, which from my investigation have populations of sixty to one-hundred twenty and two-hundred to three-hundred respectively. Thus, by my calculation in Figure 5 below, the Ganza have a minimum population of two-thousand six-hundred ten and are potentially as numerous as five-thousand two-hundred twenty. The total Ethiopian population, however, remains very small at only two-hundred sixy to four-hundred twenty people.

 

 

Villages

Relative Size Reported to Hofmeister

Estimated population per village

# of Villages

Total

Sudanese Population

Damo

> Gondollo

500+

1

500

Gondollo, Cape, Hilla Jadid

= Gondollo

300~400

3

900~1,200

Bogida, Dash, Bulu Bulu, Belatuma, Labatz, Musa Ollo, Lakai,

< Gondollo "few"

50~100

7

350~700

Gwasha, Papan, Duga Belle, Tukul Ha'a, Mushura, Darsuma, Namu, Hilla Ful, Boto Ka'a, Korbum, Yeshkab,

unknown

50~200

12

600~2,400

Ethiopian Population

Yabeldigis

-

200~300

1

200~300

Penshuba

-

60~120

1

60~120

Total estimated population of Sudan and Ethiopia:

2,610~5,220

Figure 5 – Estimated population of the Ganza based on synthesised data from Hofmeister (2009), Krell (2011), and my own data.

2. Consonants

In this section of the paper I present lexical, acoustic, and morphophonemic evidence for the consonant phonemes of Ganza and their allophones. Note that all phonemic data is demarcated by /slashes/, whether in the paper body or examples, but that phonetic data is demarcated by [brackets] in the body only. Thus the non-demarcated data in the examples should be understood as phonetic. Figures follow these same conventions unless indicated otherwise (as with the phoneme charts found in Figure 6 and Figure 17).

 

Ganza has an inventory of twenty-three phonemic consonants, and like many Omotic languages it maintains a three way contrast in its oral stops and sibilants between voiceless, ejective, and voiced features. It also follows the areal pattern of many Omotic and Nilo-Saharan languages of southern Ethiopia in that, while having a modest set of four ejectives, no pharyngeals or uvular stops are found (Fleming 1976:307). Figure 6 below is a chart of these phonemic consonants, excluding allophones.

 

 

bilabial

alveolar

palato-alveolar

palatal

velar

glottal

stops

voiceless

p

t

 

 

k

 

ejective

[9]

 

 

voiced

b

d

 

 

ɡ

ʔ

nasal

m

n

 

 

ŋ

ʔ̃

fricatives

voiceless

 

s

ʃ

 

 

h

ejective

 

 

 

 

 

voiced

 

z

 

 

 

 

Liquids

lateral

 

l

 

 

 

 

trill

 

r

 

 

 

 

semivowel

w

 

 

j

 

 

Figure 6 Ganza consonant phoneme inventory.

2.1 Oral Stops

In (1) I give evidence for a three way voiceless-ejective-voiced phonemic contrast in the labial stops.

 

(1)

 

Word-initial

Word-medial

Word-final

 

/p/

ùbá

'disease'

ʔáà

'uncle'

'roof'

 

/pʼ/

ùkʰì

'red honey'

ábí ~ pʼá̰bḭ́

'gathering'

ʃwàʃàp

'tarantula'

 

/b/

bùbá

'male'

ʔábà ~ ʔáβà

'sun'

p

'lion'

 

The phoneme /p/ is acoustically distinguishable by either the presence of aspiration or lenition. Word-initially it is most commonly realized as a strongly aspirated [pʰ]. Word-medially and finally (and occasionally word-initially) /p/ freely varies between [pʰ~ɸ~f], as illustrated in (2). As C1 in a consonant cluster, this phonemes is also realized as an unaspirated [p]. This [pʰ~ɸ~f] correspondence is an extremely common feature of both Omotic languages and western Ethiopian languages in general.

 

(2)

Free variation of [ pʰ ~ ɸ ~ f  ]

 

ùbá ~ ɸùbá ~ fùbá

'disease'

 

ʔáà ~ ʔáɸà ~ ʔáfà

'uncle'

 

ʔá~ ʔáɸ ~ ʔáf

'eye'

 

 

 

 

 

 

Figure 7 below gives spectrograms of /p/ in each of the three positions, illustrating the strong aspirated release in the initial, and fricativization in the medial and final evidenced by spectrally diffuse aperiodic energy.

 

Figure 7 - Spectrograms for [áꜜí] 'heavy', [ʔáɸà] 'uncle', and [ɸ] 'roof' respectively.

The ejective and voiced labial phonemes are harder to distinguish from each other, especially in non-initial positions where contrast is nearly neutralized. This is true in general of the ejective-voiced contrast in Ganza, but the labial stops are the most difficult to distinguish.[10] In the word-initial position the contrast is easily perceptible, with the /b/ phoneme having substantial prevoicing and the /pʼ/ phoneme having none.[11] /pʼ/ in the initial position often does not have a strong ejective release, however, being realized instead as a voiceless unaspirated [p] followed by a creaky quality on the vowel.

 

Word-medially, both the /b/ and /pʼ/ phonemes are realized with voicing. While my informants sometimes produced /pʼ/ with a very slight implosive quality [ɓ], it was not obvious or consistent enough to rely on as a contrastive feature. Thus, the only substantial perceptive cues to distinguish the two phonemes in this position are the presence of very slight fricativization of /b/ and creakiness on the vowel following /pʼ/. In all other respects they are identical. In word-final position the ejective /pʼ/ and the voiced /b/ are both realized as the voiceless unreleased stop [p], which coincides with a wider pattern of final devoicing and deglottalization in the language. The underlying voiced or voiceless feature of these consonants is revealed when the nominal marker /-di/ is applied.[12] Here the final consonant of the noun root becomes the C1 of a consonant cluster, as in (3). Since /b/ is underlyingly voiced the initial consonant of the /-di/ suffix remains voiced. However, since /pʼ/ is underlyingly voiceless the initial consonant of the /-di/ suffix assimilates, resulting in the consonant cluster [pt] (see also §5.2).

 

(3)

 

Word-final devoicing / deglottalization

C1 in a consonant cluster ( noun + /-di/ )

 

/b/

p

'lion'

bdì

'the/a lion'

 

/pʼ/

ʃwàʃàp

'tarantula'

ʃwàʃàptí

'the/a tarantula'

 

 

 

 

 

Figure 8 below gives spectrograms of /b/ in each of the three positions, illustrating the substantial prevoicing in the initial, voicing in the medial, and devoicing in the final. Compare them with Figure 9 which gives spectrograms of /pʼ/ in the same positions, showing a clear lack of prevoicing or aspiration in the initial, voicing in the medial, and deglottalization in the final. The presence of creaky quality in the vowels is not visible on these spectrograms.

 

Figure 8–Spectrograms for [béè ] 'yellow billed kite', [ tʼàβî ] 'oil', and [ p ] 'lion' respectively.

 

Figure 9Spectrograms for [ àlì ] 'girl', [ pʼá̰bḭ́ ] 'gathering', and [ ʃwàʃàp ] 'tarantula' respectively.

The alveolar oral stops behave much like the labial stops, only the contrast between non-initial ejective /tʼ/ and voiced /d/ is more obvious and there is little if any lenition of the voiceless /t/. In (4) I give evidence for a three way phonemic contrast in the alveolar stops.

 

(4)

 

Word-initial

Word-medial

Word-final

 

/t/

ókʰó

'foot'

ʔáá

'breast'

bàt ~ tːʰ

'goose'

/tʼ/

óɗó

'black'

pʰádà ~ pʰáɗà̰

'deer'

ʃêt

'buffalo'

/d/

dòkʰò

'friend'

kʰúꜜdá ~ kʰúꜜɾá

'thatch'

kʰìkʰìmít

'ground hornbill'

 

The phoneme /t/ is realized with distinct aspiration and a clear lack of voicing in all positions. In the final position it is sometimes realized as an unreleased voiceless stop, making it indistinguishable from /tʼ/ or /d/, but unlike these a given token will freely vary between the unreleased [t] and a long aspirated [tːʰ]. In Figure 10 below I give spectrograms of this phoneme in the three positions. As can be seen, the characteristic features of the initial and medial realizations are voicelessness and a high energy release, and in the final position a significantly longer consonant with final aspiration.

 

Figure 10 Spectrograms for [ ókʰó ] 'foot', [ ʔáá ] 'breast', and [ tːʰ ] 'duck' respectively.

Like the labial phonemes, in the initial position /tʼ/ and /d/ are distinct from each other by the presence of prevoicing in the latter.[13]  Furthermore, /tʼ/ is distinguishable from /t/ by the intensity of its release, which shows significantly less aperiodic energy, and also by the creaky quality present on the following vowels. Also like the labials, /tʼ/ and /d/ are both realized as a voiceless unreleased [t] in the final position, but when placed in a consonant cluster they display different behaviour, as shown with the addition of the nominal marker /-di/ in (5).[14] Notice that adjacent to /tʼ/ the suffix /-di/ also fully assimilates in manner (see also §2.6 examples (25) and (26), and §5.2 examples (48) and (49)).

 

(5)

 

Word-final devoicing / deglottalization

C1 in a consonant cluster ( noun + /-di/ )

 

/d/

kʰìkʰìmít

'ground hornbill'

kʰìkʰìmíddì

'the/a ground hornbill'

 

/tʼ/

ʃêt

'buffalo'

ʃétì

'the/a  buffalo'

 

In the medial position, /d/ and /tʼ/ both have voicing features. They are distinguished however in that /tʼ/ is realized like a weak implosive [ɗ] or preglottalized [ˀd], whereas /d/ is rhoticized, often being realized as the alveolar tap [ɾ]. In Figure 11 and Figure 12 I give spectrograms for these two phonemes in the three positions. Notice especially in comparing [pʰáɗà] and [kʰúꜜdá] that the former shows no sonorant energy except for the voicing visible in the fundamental frequency, whereas the latter shows weak sonorant energy across the spectrum as well as a sharp fall in the fourth formant (F4), a strong characteristic of rhotics.

 

Figure 11 – Spectrograms for [ óɗó ] 'black', [ pʰáɗà̰ ] 'deer', and [ ʃêt ] 'buffalo' respectively.

Figure 12 - Spectrograms for [ dòkʰò ] 'friend', [ kʰúɾá ] 'thatch', and [ dìt] 'metal' respectively.

Continuing on to velar stops, in (6) I give evidence for a three way phonemic contrast. In (7), I again show the differentiation of word-final /kʼ/ and /ɡ/ by their differing behaviour in a consonant cluster, where C2 assimilates the voicing feature of C1.

 

(6)

 

Word-initial

Word-medial

Word-final

 

/k/

àbû

'bird'

kʰáí

'white'

hàwè

'flock'

/kʼ/

áɡà

'cheek'

kʼáɡáʃ ~ kʼáɠá̰ʃ

'porcupine'

k

'fox'

/ɡ/

ɡáŋá

'donkey'

kwàɡá

'pumpkin'

ôk

'hat'

 

(7)

 

Word-final devoicing / deglottalization

C1 in a consonant cluster ( noun + /-di/ )

 

/kʼ/

k

'fox'

ktí

'the/a fox'

/ɡ/

ôk

'hat'

óɡdì

'the/a hat'

 

As expected these phonemes display very similar patterns to the alveolars and labials. There is double release burst of the /k/ phoneme in the initial position, and either strong aspiration or slight fricativization in the medial and final positions. These characteristic can be seen in the spectrograms given in Figure 13.  With the /kʼ/ phoneme there is intervocalic voicing and slight implosiveness, as seen in figure Figure 14, as well as a corresponding creaky quality on a following vowel. Finally with the /ɡ/ phoneme there is significantly more sonorant energy in the upper formants intervocalically and devoicing word-finally, as seen in Figure 15. 

 

Figure 13 -  Spectrograms for [ àbû ] 'bird', [ kʰáí ] 'white', and [ hàwè] 'flock' respectively.

Figure 14 - Spectrograms for [ áɡà ] 'cheek', [ kʼáɠáʃ ] 'porcupine', and [ k ] 'fox' respectively.

Figure 15 - Spectrograms for [ ɡáŋá ] 'donkey', [ kwàɡâ ] 'pumpkin', and [ ôk ] 'hat' respectively.

2.2 Nasal Stops

In Ganza the nasal stop phonemes are fairly straightforward, with corresponding phonemes to each place of articulation attested in the oral stops (including glottal, as will be discussed in §2.5). In (8) I give evidence of a three way contrast among the nasal stops.

 

(8)

 

Word-initial

Word-medial

Word-final

 

/m/

màmà

'child'

wáꜜmá

'river'

ɡìrîm

'dim'

/n/

náꜜná

'word'

kʰáꜜná

'dog'

mìsɡìrín

'sand grouse'

/ŋ/

unattested

 

ŋà

'chicken'

kʼwàrìŋ

'drawing'

 

There are two points here that need to be addressed, namely the evidence that [ŋ] is a separate phoneme /ŋ/ versus a coalescence of /nɡ/, and conversely the evidence that [ɲ~ɲj] is a consonant cluster /nj/ versus a single phoneme /ɲ/.

 

Regarding the status of /ŋ/, I argue first that there is systematic justification for defining it as a separate phoneme. In the oral stops there is a three way place of articulation contrast, and it is natural that the nasal stops would match this pattern. While it is true that a lack of this phone in the word-initial position may be a general indication that it has a different phonemic status than the other nasal stops, this distribution pattern is shared by two of Ganza's closest relatives, Bambassi Mao (Ahland 2012) and Sezo (Girma 2015). Second, there is lexical evidence that /ŋ/ as a single consonant contrasts with the NC clusters /ŋkʼ/ and /ŋɡ/, as shown in (9). There is therefore little plausibility for suggesting [ŋ] is a coalescence of /n/ plus a velar consonant.[15]

 

(9)

 

Evidence of contrast between /ŋ/ - /ŋkʼ/ - /ŋɡ/.

 

/ŋ/

ʔàŋà

'sorghum'

ŋô

'cloud'

/ŋkʼ/

ʔíŋꜜkʼá

'to do'

kʼáŋkʼó

́'spoon'

/ŋɡ/

ʔìŋɡì

'this (feminine)'

ŋɡô

'stringed instrument'

 

Regarding the status of the cluster /nj/, the same arguments apply to the opposite effect. First, there is no systematic justification for a palatal nasal /ɲ/ given a complete lack of  non-sonorant palatal consonants (excepting the palato-alveolar /ʃ/, which will be discussed in §2.3). Second, /nj/ has extremely limited distribution and frequency, being attested in only three of the over one-thousand items in my data corpus. These are given in (10). Further, two of these three words are likely onomatopoeic forms, representing a bird call and a cat cry.

 

(10)

All attested occurrences of /nj/

 

ʔíꜜɲjá ~ ʔíꜜɲá

'to refuse' [16],[17]

 

ɲjákʰ ~ ɲákʰ

'kingfisher (bird)'

ɲjàú ~ ɲàú

'cat'

 

For cross-linguistic comparison I have included Figure 16 below showing the attestation of the nasal phonemes in Ganza's linguistic neighbours. As can be seen, among the Omotic group /ɲ/ is never attested as a phoneme and /ŋ/ is attested in two of the three other Mao languages, giving strong typological justification for my analysis. Among the non-Omotic groups, both phonemes are attested but /ŋ/ is by far the more common.

 

 

Language

/m/

/n/

/ŋ/

/ɲ/

Source

Omotic

Bambassi Mao [myf]

-

Ahland 2012

Hoozo [hzo]

-

-

Getachew 2015

Sezo [sze]

-

Girma 2015

Borna ("Shinasha") [bwo]

-

-

Joswig 2008

Anfillo [myo]

-

-

Debela & Girma 2005

Shekkacho ("Moča") [moy]

-

-

Leslau 1959

Non-Omotic

Gwama [kmq]

-a

Kievit & Robertson 2012

Komo [xom]

-

Teshome 2006

Oromo [orm]

-

Mohammed & Zaborski 1990

Bertha [wti]

- b

Neudorf & Neudorf 2007

Gumuz [guk]

c

Ahland 2004

 

a In Gwama [ɲ] is described as a phoneme by Zelealem (2005) but only as present in one lexical item [ɲa] 'goat'. Like Ganza, this is very likely onomatopoetic (Hellenthal 2005).

b In Bertha [ɲ] is analyzed as an allomorph of /ŋ/ before front vowels.

c In Gumuz [ɲ] is only a fully realized phoneme /ɲ/ in the Yaso and Sirba Abbay dialects. In all other dialects is analyzed as an allophone of /ŋ/.

Figure 16 – Attestation of nasal stops as fully realized phonemes in languages geographically proximate to Ganza.

2.3 Sibilants

Ganza has four phonemic sibilants. In (11) I give evidence for a four-way contrast among the fricatives between voiceless, voiced, ejective, and palatalized fricatives. The only anomaly in the distribution of these sibilants is the lack of /z/ word-finally.[18]

(11)

 

Word-initial

Word-medial

Word-final

 

/s/

sásá

'bite'

sô

'monkey'

kʰís

'purse'

/z/

zólèŋ

'shrew'

zò

'twin'

not attested

 

/sʼ/

álò

'worm'

sʼáà

'fat (thick)'

kʰù

'flower'

 

/ʃ/

ʃòʃó

'bag'

ʃáʃî

'rope'

kʰíʃ

'forest'

 

/ʃ/ is likely a historical coalescence of /s/ and /j/ which has now become an independent phoneme. There are two lines of evidence for this. First, in certain lexical items speakers manifest free variation between [s~ʃ] when preceding front vowels, examples of which are given in (12). This suggests that /s/ has a tendency towards palatalization before front vowels.

 

(12)

Instances of free-variation between [s~ʃ]

 

sí~nìʃí

'how many?'

sísô~ʃísô

'within'

 

Second, the presence of an old palatal onglide can be detected in the allomorphic stem of certain words. As will be discussed further in §5.1, in many Ganza words there is an allomorphic correspondence between the sequence /ja/ and the vowel /e/. This correspondence is also true of certain words containing the sequence /ʃa/, suggesting that at one point the phonemic sequence was /ʃja/ or /sja/. Compare the examples given in (13).

 

(13)

Allomorphic correspondence between /ʃa/ and /ʃe/.

 

ʃáŋkʼâ à ʃéŋkʼ

'rock'

cf.

àéb

'to hear'

 

One final comment needs to be made regarding Hayward's observation of "Sibilant Harmony", which claims that in Omotic languages palatal (including palato-alveolar) and non-palatal sibilants do not co-occur in well-formed roots (Hayward 1986). Besides the tendency for /s/ to palatalize as mentioned in (12), this holds true for Ganza. Actually, the generalization can be extended to ejective features as well. Thus while we find that word roots intermingle /s/ and /z/ freely, /sʼ/ and /ʃ/ do not co-occur with any other sibilant but themselves.

2.4 Liquids and Semivowels

There are four phonemes for liquids and semivowels in Ganza: the alveolar lateral /l/, the alveolar trill /r/, and the palatal and labiovelar semivowels /j/ and /w/. Of these, the phonemic distinction between [l] and [r] is probably the hardest to distinguish. In certain lexical items the two sounds appear to be in free variation word-finally. Also [r] is not attested in the initial position.[19] Thus the clearest contrast is found word-medially, where there are several near-minimal pairs attested in my data corpus. This evidence for a phonemic contrast between /l/ and /r/ is given in (14).

 

(14)

 

Word-initial

Word-medial

Word-final

 

/l/

lìŋí

'ditch'

kʼùlá

'anus'

ɡúmbìl

'robe'

 

láꜜɡúláɡù

'elder'

lí

'son'

twáŋꜜɡál

'elephant'

/r/

not attested

kʰúrà

'ball'

ɡábîr

'sheep'

 

 

 

 

rì

'in-law'

ʔáŋɡâr

'bed'

 

In (15) I give evidence of contrast for the semi-vowels /w/ and /j/. For the present I have analyzed these phonemes as consonants in all positions, including the coda where they could be alternatively be analyzed as the V2 of a diphthong (see §3.4).

 

(15)

 

Word-initial

Word-medial

Word-final

 

/j/

jéʃô

'rainy season'

jà

'ear'

pʰâj

'heavy'

/w/

wíɡì

'snake'

ʔáwà

'grinding stone'

w

'go'

2.5 Glottal Consonants

A very interesting feature of Ganza's consonant system is found in the glottal consonants. Phonetically speaking there are only two glottal consonants in Ganza, the stop [ʔ] and the fricative [h], which contrast word-initially and to a lesser extent word-medially. However, the word-medial glottal stop can be further subdivided by its behaviour into a plain glottal stop /ʔ/ and a nasal glottal stop /ʔ̃/. This nasal glottal phoneme is identified by the presence of unmotivated (lexical) nasalization on both on the preceding and following vowels.[20] In (16) I give evidence for phonemic contrast between these three glottal phonemes.

 

(16)

 

Word-initial

Word-medial

/

ʔâw

'say'

ʔà

'goat'

 

/ʔ̃/

not attested

 

sã̀ʔĩ̂

'bead jewelry'

 

/h/

hâw

'go'

hánà

'dish'

 

The glottalic consonants differ significantly in their distribution patterns from the other consonantal phonemes: First, none of the three phonemes appear unambiguously word-finally. The oral stop does appear syllable-finally in allomorphic stems where there is final-vowel elision, such as in /wáꜜʔá/ à [wéʔ] 'run' (see §5.1). It also appears word-finally in one lexical item, /lěʔlěʔ/ 'continuously', which appears to some sort of reduplicated form. There are also a few lexical items where I suspect the /ʔ̃/ phoneme occurs syllable finally, for example /màʔ̃tʼáꜜ/ 'sugar cane' which is phonetically realized as [mã̀ɗã̂] and can be contrasted with non-nasalized /máꜜtʼáʃ/ 'bone', phonetically [máꜜɗáʃ].

 

Second, /h/ has an extremely limited medial distribution. It is found in only four lexical items, three of which are likely borrowings and the fourth having an anomalous nasal feature akin to that found on the glottal nasal.[21] /ʔ/ and /ʔ̃/ on the other hand show a significant number of contrasts, as shown in (17).

 

(17)

Further word-medial attestations of /ʔ/ and /ʔ̃/.

ʔà

'goat'

sã̀ʔĩ̂

'bead jewelry'

 

ʔī

'death'

hã́ʔã̀

'water'

 

ʔō

'war'

kʼjã̀ʔã́

'egg'

 

ʔó

'thing'

nã́ʔĩ̀

'daughter'

 

kʰáʔà

'house'

mã̀ʔĩ̀

'to rip in two'

 

ʔà

'very'

dã̀ʔĩ́

'hammer'

 

ʔòʔò

'grandmother'

pʼṍʔ

'Cheleda baboon'

 

tʰáʔà

'still (not yet)'

zĩ̀ʔĩ́~zĩ̀ĩ́

'green'

 

kʼwáʔàsʼ

'kudu (deer)'

sẽ̀ʔẽ́

'to not comply'

 

Third, the primary contrast between /ʔ/ and /h/ can be found word-initially.[22] Proof for this can be seen when an open-syllable morpheme is placed to the left of the verb stem. In this environment a word with an initial /ʔ/ is realized as an intervocalic [ʔ] whereas an initial /h/ is phonetically deleted, resulting in vowel hiatus. In (18) and (19) I give an example of this using the minimal pair /háw/ 'go' and /ʔáwꜜ/ 'say' set in the basic affirmative verb clause , which begins with the affirmative particle /hàꜛ/ plus a subject clitic followed by the verb root and a verbal clitic.[23], [24]

 

(18)

Intervocalic deletion of /h/

 

/háw/

'go'

 hàɡááw

 

 

 

/hàꜛ=ɡa     háw=bo /

 

 

 

  aff=3m.sbj   go=vc1

 

 

 

 

'he goes'

 

(19)

Intervocalic preservation of /ʔ/

 

/ʔáwꜜ/

'say'

 hàɡáʔáw

 

 

 

/hàꜛ=ɡa     ʔáwꜜ=bo /

 

 

 

 

  aff=3m.sbj   say=vc1

 

 

 

 

'he says'

 

It could be argued that this pattern actually shows contrast between the glottal fricative phoneme /h/ and an onsetless vowel. The presence of the glottal found in situations such as (19) could then be attributed to glottalic epenthesis rather than preservation. However, if this were the case, I would expect both /háw/ and */áwꜜ/ to display glottal epenthesis intervocalically, since after the deletion of the [h] the two environments would be identical.

 

One final thing to mention regarding the glottal consonants is that in two high-frequency lexical items I observed alternation between the oral glottal stop [ʔ] and the voiced velar stop [ɡ]. First, in (20a) the third-person subject clitic /=ɡa/ freely varies between [ɡa~ʔa] in connected speech. Second, as in (20b) I observed a pronunciation difference between my two speakers in their word for 'thing', the one using [jóʔó] and the other [jóɡó].

 

(20)

a.

Free-variation between [ɡ ~ ʔ]

b.

Lexical alternation between [ɡ ~ ʔ]

 

 

 ɡá náꜜkʰábô ~ hàʔá náꜜkʰábô

 

ʔó ~ ɡó

'thing'

 

/hàꜛ=ɡa   náꜜká=bo /

 

 

 

 

 

  aff=3m.sbj   big=vc1

 

 

 

 

 

'it is big'

 

 

 

2.6 Consonant Length

Having just described the consonantal phonemic inventory of Ganza it is fitting to discuss the status of consonant length before moving on to vowel phonemes. The presence of phonemic gemination in the consonant system is a well-known feature of the Ethiopian Language Area (Crass & Meyer 2008:231), thus it cannot be ignored in any phonological description of an Ethiopian language. This is especially true when it is claimed to be absent, as I do here.

While long consonants can be found in Ganza, they are not lexical (phonemic). I contend this because long consonants are only ever found at a morpheme boundary intersecting a consonant cluster. In particular, they are found in the following two environments:

 

a.

Cα ]µCα α - long consonants are found at the morpheme boundary between a consonant-final lexical stem or suffix and a suffix or enclitic beginning with the same consonant.

b.

C1[+alveolar, -nasal] ]µ C2[+alveolar, -nasal] 1 - long consonants are found at the morpheme boundary between a consonant-final stem ending in an oral alveolar consonant and a suffix or enclitic also beginning with an oral alveolar consonant. In this case the second alveolar consonant in the cluster fully assimilates to the first.

 

A good example of environment (a) is the morpheme boundary between the negative suffix /-ánꜜ/ and the verbal clitic /=na/ in negative verb constructions. This is an interesting situation because the primary contrastive cue between the negative and positive forms of the verb here could be analyzed as consonant gemination. Examples of this are given in (21), (22), and (23).

 

(21)

 ʔàsìtká

ɡàrànà

cf.

 ʔàsìt

ɡàráánnà

 

/ʔàsìꜛ-di=ɡa

ɡàrà=na/

 

/ʔàsìꜛ-di

ɡàrá-ánꜜ=na/

 person-nm=3m.sbj

sit.sg=vc2

 

  person-nm

sit.sg-neg=vc2

'the person sits'

 

'the person does not sit'

 

(22)

 hàɡá

úʃìnà

cf.

 ʔúꜜʃíánnà

 

/hàꜛ=ɡa

úʃì=na/

 

/ʔúʃì-ánꜜ=na/

 aff=3m.sbj

tie=vc2

 

  tie-neg=vc2

'he ties'

 

'he does not tie'

 

(23)

 hàɡá

sàsnà

cf.

 sásáánnà

 

/hàꜛ=ɡa

sàs=na/

 

/sásá-ánꜜ=na/

 aff=3m.sbj

old=vc2

 

 old-neg=vc2

'he is old'

 

'he is not old'

 

I do not consider consonant length here to be the main cue of negation for several reasons. First, the primary contrastive feature appears to be tonal. Not only does the negative suffix /-ánꜜ/ bear a conspicuous H tone,[25] but the negative mood also causes the verb root to take its citation tone melody as opposed to its construct melody (which is used with /=na/ in the affirmative). For definitions of citation and construct melodies see §6. Second, when /-ánꜜ/ is combined with other verbal morphology, such as the imperative suffixes in (24), the primary contrastive cue cannot be consonant length since there is no doubled consonant.

 

(24)

 ɡàráʃ

cf.

 ɡàrááꜜnéʃ

 

/ɡàrá-éʃ/

 

/ɡàrá-ánꜜ-éʃ/

 sit.sg-imp.sg

 

 sit.sg-neg-imp.sg

'sit!'

 

'don't sit!'

 

A good example of environment (b) is found at the morpheme boundary between a noun root which ends in an alveolar or palato-alveolar oral consonant and the nominal marker /-di/. Here the /d/ of the suffix fully assimilates in manner and voicing to the final consonant in the noun root, forming a long consonant. A contextualized example of this is given in (25) followed by examples in (26) with each of the oral alveolar phonemes.

 

(25)

 ʔìntʰì

ɡábírrì

ʔàɡá

nákʰànà

 

/ʔìntìꜛ

ɡábírꜜ-di

hàꜛ=ɡa

nákà=na/

dem.prox

sheep-nm

aff=3m.sbj

big=vc2

'this sheep, he is big'

 

(26)

 

Isolation

Manner assimilation  of /-di/ suffix

 

/r/

ɡábîr

'sheep'

ɡábírrì

'the/a sheep'

 

/l/

jàwǐl

'hyena'

jàwìllí

'the/a hyena'

 

/t/

hà

'metal'

hàdìttʰí

'the/a metal'

 

/d/

kʰìkʰìmít

'ground hornbill'

kʰìkʰìmíddì

'the/a ground hornbill'

 

/tʼ/

ʃêt

'buffalo'

ʃéttʼì

'the/a buffalo'

 

/s/

ɡàmìs

'shirt'

ɡàmìssí

'the/a shirt'

 

/ʃ/

kʼóꜜŋóʃ

'hunchback'

kʼóꜜŋóʃʃí

'the/a hunchback'

 

/sʼ/

ɡíŋɡìlí

'lovebird'

ɡíŋɡìlíssʼí

'the/a lovebird'

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Since both these environments are found at morpheme boundaries it is safe to say that Ganza does not utilize consonant length phonemically. This is not to say that the length is entirely unperceived by the native Ganza speaker, but rather that since it is unattested in monomorphemic words it is non-contrastive in the Ganza phonology.

3. Vowels

In this section of the paper I describe and discuss the five vowel phonemes of Ganza. I also address the unpredictable (lexical) free-variation between [wa~o], the lack of phonemic long vowels, the phonemic composition of diphthongs, and one small attestation of vowel harmony.

3.1 Vowel Phonemes

As can be expected of an Omotic language, Ganza has a system of five phonemic vowels contrasting high and mid front-unrounded vowels, high and mid back-rounded vowels, and a single low vowel. Figure 17 is a chart of these phonemic vowels, excluding allophones.

 

 

 

Front

Back

High

i

u

Mid

e

o

Low

a

Figure 17 – Ganza vowel phoneme inventory.

Below I give evidence of contrast between these vowel phonemes, in (27a) comparing the high front, mid front, and low vowels /i, e, a/, and in (27b) comparing the high back, mid back, and low vowels /u, o, a/.

 

(27)

a. Minimal or near-minimal pairs between / i, e, a /

 

 

Word-initial

Word-medial

Word-final

 

/i/

ʔínsá

'tree'

í

'to add'

ʔánsʼí

'month'

 

/e/

ʔénsó

'request'

é

'to be clean'

jìlànsʼé

'wildcat'

 

/a/

ʔánꜜsʼó

'rain'

á

'worm'

ʔànsʼà

'gold'

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

b. Minimal or near-minimal pairs between / u, o, a /

 

 

Word-initial

Word-medial

Word-final

 

/u/

ʔú

'rattle'

ʃúꜜmú

'to be leftover'

kʰùɡú

'owl'

 

/o/

ʔó

'puddle'

ʃóꜜmó

'python'

kʰóɡò

'hill'

 

/a/

ʔà

'friend!'

ʃà

'to be tired'

kʰáɡà

'possession'

 

For the purposes of acoustic description Figure 18 below shows the average and median first formant (F1) and second formant (F2) measurements for these vowels. For each vowel I measured twenty tokens, ten in which the target vowel was between consonants and ten in which the vowel was word-final. As much as possible, tokens were chosen in order to represent a variety of tone and onset consonants. Measurements were taken from the second repetition of the token in a given recording, and at approximately one-third of the way into the duration of the vowel.

 

 

F1 average

F1 median

F2 average

F2 median

/i/

355

354

2092

2120

/e/

484

482

1896

1867

/u/

380

375

986

962

/o/

487

473

941

916

/a/

694

689

1395

1385

Figure 18 – Average and median formant values for Ganza vowels given in hertz (Hz).

When the raw numbers are plotted on a formant chart, as in  Figure 19 below, the classic V of a five-vowel system is evident, but with one aberration: there is significant overlap in realizations of /o/ and /u/.

 

Figure 19 - Vowel formant plot of one-hundred Ganza lexical items.

3.2 A Case of Unpredictable Vocalic Free Variation

There is a curious feature of Ganza's vowel phonology in which free variation exists between [wa~ʔo] for a certain set of words beginning with /wa/ but is absent in all other words beginning with /wa/. For the items in (28a), I received both phonetic variants of the words from both of my language helpers when the words were elicited in isolation. Compare these with (28b) in which there is no attested free variation. In addition, when the average F1 and F2 values of the [w] in the (a) items were measured they turned out to be significantly different from those of [w] in the (b) items.[26]

 

(28)

a. Items with [wa ~ ʔo] free variation.

b. Items with no variation.

 

ꜜmá ~ ʔóꜜmá

'river'

wáꜜsí

'meat'

 

ɗà ~ ʔóɗà

'insult'

wàʃàl

'hare'

 

pʰà ~ ʔópʰà

'cave'

wáŋà

'ensete'

 

jà ~ ʔó

'ear'

wàŋà

'chicken'

 

I see two probable explanations for this unpredictable and asymetrical variation. The first is a diachronic hypothesis in which the proto vowel inventory did not contain /o/, but rather /o/ developed historically from the coalescence of /wa/. After /o/ was established as a phoneme, new combinations of /ʔua/ or /wa/ resulted in the non-varying /wa/ items. The varying /wa/ items, then, would be higher frequency words which preserved the old /wa/ instead of coalescing. The second hypothesis is synchronic, in which the /w/ semivowel is actually underlyingly two different vowel onsets. Thus, while non-varying items such as [wàŋà] 'chicken' begin underlyingly with /ʔua/, varying items such a [wáꜜmá ~ ʔóꜜmá] 'river' begin underlyingly with /ʔoa/. I do not attempt here to make an argument for one of these cases over the other.

 

Analogous to [wa~ʔo], Ganza also has an alternation between [ja~e]. Like the [wa~ʔo] variation, this only occurs in certain lexical items. However, as will be explained further in §5.1, this is predictable stem allomorphy, not free variation as with [wa~ʔo].

3.3 Vowel Length

Like consonant length, contrastive vowel length is a common feature of Ethiopian languages. In Omotic languages especially it is expected that the five phonemic vowels will each have long counterparts. I was thus surprised to discover that Ganza does not have a clear contrast between long and short vowel phonemes. Instead, Ganza has predictable utterance-final vowel lengthening and a set of monosyllabic words with double vowels.

 

Acoustically speaking, Ganza has three significantly different phonetic levels of vowel length. The first and shortest level corresponds to the standard short vowel. The second, slightly lengthened set corresponds to utterance-final lengthened vowels. The third and longest level corresponds to all monosyllabic open-syllable free words (i.e. CVV, Cw/jVV). Figure 20 gives the average and median duration for each vowel phoneme in these three environments as found in isolated words.

 

 

Default short

Utterance-final

CVV words

average

median

average

median

average

median

/i/

126

125

208

196

335

347

/e/

140

129

231

227

348

325

/u/

106

100

197

216

304

304

/o/

124

126

203

194

335

335

/a/

120

124

180

180

340

329

Figure 20 – Average and median duration of vowels in three environments, given in milliseconds (ms).

 

These numbers are somewhat exaggerated compared to connected speech. However, comparative measurements of vowel lengths within a single sentence still attest three phonetic lengths corresponding to these three environments.

 

For the purpose of phonemic analysis it is the third level of length that is most interesting. While the utterance-final lengthening can be dismissed as a predictable (phonetic) process,[27] the question is whether this very limited set of CVV words are sufficient grounds for claiming that vowel length is contrastive. In (29) I list all the words I have found to date that contain these long vowels.[28]

 

(29)

a.

CVV nouns

b.

CVV verbs

c.

CVV pronouns

 

 

kʼjóò

'body'

 

kʰáꜜá

'to work'

 

tʰìì

1sg

 

 

kʰáà

'labour'

 

máꜜá

'to eat'

 

mùù

1pl

 

 

níꜜí

'father'

 

kʰòó

'to carry'

 

jéé

2sg

 

 

náꜜá

'mother'

 

ʃáá

'to see'

 

kʰíꜜí

3f

 

 

bàâ

'father'

 

kʰwáꜜá

'to come'

 

kʰúꜜú

3pl

 

 

sáꜜá

'woman, wife'

 

tʼóꜜó

'to come'

 

 

 

 

 

ʔòò

'grandmother'

 

tʼáꜜá

'to drip'

 

 

 

 

 

sʼwíꜜí

'hip'

 

kʼáá

'to eat meat'

 

 

 

 

 

kʼàà

'new thing'

 

kʼàà

'to be new'

 

 

 

 

 

tʼéꜜé

'hornbill'

 

kʼéꜜé

'to seem'

 

 

 

 

 

béè

'black kite'

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

pʼwíì

'type of tree'

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

síì

'wax'

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Like long consonants, I analyze these vowels as double vowels, not long vowels, which have arisen from the historical elision of a consonant. That is to say, [kʼjóò] 'body' should be analyzed as /kʼjóò/ not /kʼjôː/, and likely came from a source word */kʼjóCò/. As for the identity of the elided consonant, I hypothesize that [aa] items came from an elided [h], [oo] and [uu] from an elided [w], and [ee] and [ii] from an elided [j]. Below are outlined various evidences which lead me to this conclusion:

 

a. All monosyllabic free words are heavy syllables.

 

The attested profiles on monosyllabic words are CVV, CCVV, CVC, CCVC, CVCC. Since there are no CV noun or verb roots for a CVV word to contrast with, length contrast is essentially neutralized in monosyllabic free words. It is likely that originally all noun and verb roots were minimally disyllabic, and that CVV and CVC stems were formed through historical syncope and apocope respectively (see §5.1 for evidence of this occurring synchronically).

 

b. Most CVV words are high frequency tokens.

 

With a few exceptions, the above words are all extremely high-frequency tokens. Since high-frequency tokens undergo phonological reduction faster than other words, they tend to be the locus of such phonological irregularities (Bybee 2004:113). It is therefore plausible that the elision of a consonant would occur in Ganza in these high-frequency tokens while not occurring in other, less frequent items (cf. /tìʔìꜛ/ 'to protect' and /tììꜛ/ '1sg').

 

c. Most CVV words have a CV allomorph.

 

In the verb system, CVV verbs predictably shorten to CV in certain grammatical frames, essentially displaying the same allomorphic pattern of certain CVʔV verbs which elide to CVʔ (see §5.1). Likewise, when the independent pronouns function as possessives they take a short form, as illustrated in (30).[29]

 

(30)

 sùdánsà

háwssí

tʼélꜜbó,

tìì

cf.

 

ɡáŋà

 

/Sùdánꜜ-sa

háw-sa=di

tʼélꜜ=ꜛ=bo,

tììꜛ/

 

/tìꜛ       

ɡàŋà/

 Sudan-dir

go-purp=1sg.sbj

want=irr=vc1

1sg

 

 1sg.poss

donkey

'I want to go to Sudan'

 

'my donkey'

 

d. Tonal melodies on monosyllabic noun and verb roots give evidence that they were originally disyllabic.

 

If these roots were originally monosyllabic I would expect to find only /L/ and /H/ citation melodies attested. However, for the CVV verbs and pronouns there are three attested citation melodies— /HꜜH/, /H/, and /LH/— and for the CVV nouns there are four— /HꜜH/, /Hꜜ/, /LHꜜ/, and /Lꜛ/. The specifics of this will be discussed further in §6, but for the moment it is sufficient to say that these melodies are more complex than would be expected on monosyllabic roots and that they bear no differences to the melodies attested on disyllabic roots.

 

e. [h], [w], and [j] are unattested in the proposed environments of elision.

 

There is only one attestation of an intervocalic [h] in non-borrowed words, /máhì/ 'feline', but this is not between homorganic vowels and sometimes surfaces with a suspicious nasal feature [mã́hĩ̀]. Also, as was shown in §2.5 example (18), when [h] is found intervocalically at a morpheme boundary it deletes. Similarly, there are no attestations of [w] between two back-rounded vowels or [j] between two front-unrounded in well-formed roots (i.e. *[owo, uwu, uwo, owu], *[eje, iji, eji, ije]). It is plausible then that these consonants historically elided in these environments resulting in double vowels.

 

f. At least four high-frequency tokens have been observed to form a double vowel after undergoing stem allomorphy.

 

When modified, the words /wájà/ 'ear' and /kwájà/ 'place' take the allomorphic forms /wéè/ and /kwéè/ respectively, as shown in (31) and (32). Here we actually observe the formation of a double vowel via stem allomorphy (see §5.1), with the sequence /aja/ becoming /ee/.

 

(31)

 wájà

'ear'

cf.

 tʰì wéè

'my ear'

 

(32)

 kʰwájàtkà

náꜜkʰábô

cf.

 ʔìtʰí

kʰwéétkà

náꜜkʰábô

 

/kwájà-di=ɡa

náꜜká=bo/

 

/ʔìtí

kwéè-di=ɡa

náꜜká=bo/

  place-nm=3m.sbj

big=vc1

 

  dem.dist

place-nm=3m.sbj

big=vc1

'the place is big'

 

'that (far) place is big'

 

Similarly the verbs /háw/ 'go' and /ʔáwꜜ/ 'say' take the allomorphic forms /hááꜜ/ and /ʔááꜜ/ in certain grammatical environments, as in (33), suggesting the proto-roots */hawa/ and */ʔawa/.

 

(33)

 hàdí

ʔáwnà

cf.

 hàdí

ʔááꜜɡwánà

 

/hàꜛ=di

ʔáwꜜ=na/

 

/hàꜛ=di

ʔááꜜ-ɡwáꜜ=na/

 aff=1sg.sbj

say=vc2

 

 aff=1sg.sbj

say-pfv=vc2

'I say'

 

'I have said'

 

From these evidences I conclude that instances of long vowel found in Ganza are doubled vowels rather than phonemically long vowels which contrast with phonemically short vowels. Further, I hypothesize that these double vowels have their source in the historical elision of a consonant, most likely [h] or [ʔ] in the case of [aa], [j] in the case of [ii] and [ee], and [w] in the case of [uu] and [oo].

3.4 Diphthongs

Phonetically, Ganza has only two diphthongs, [au] and [ai]. However, phonemically these are best analyzed as consonant codas /aw/ and /aj/, counterparts to the onglides /wa/ and /ja/. Examples of these are given in (34).

 

(34)

Semivowel Onglides

Semivowel Codas

 

/wa/

ɗà

'to swallow'

/aw/

áꜜú

'to roast'

 

 

ɗá

'naked-neck chicken'

 

ɲjàú

'cat'

 

/ja/

ꜜlá

'to want, seek'

/aj/

áì

'to be heavy'

 

 

'dry season'

 

wùʃáì

'francolin (bird)'

 

The main reason for analyzing these as consonant codas is that they behave as such in terms of syllabification and tone distribution. For example, when elicited in isolation the verb /ʔáwꜜ/ 'say' is realized as [ʔáù], with the /HL/ melody surfacing as falling tone spread over the diphthong. When this verb is elicited in context, however, the L is not realized on the /w/ coda but instead delinks, either causing downstep as in (35a), or reattaching to a following toneless morpheme as in (35b). Thus, except when elicited in isolation these phones do not serve as tone-bearing units (TBU). Also, when the morpheme following /ʔáwꜜ/ begins with a vowel, the /w/ coda is reassigned as the onset of that morpheme, as in (36). If this were a true diphthong I would expect further evidence of vowel hiatus.

 

(35)

a.
L delinks from /w/ causing downstep
b.
L delinks from /w/ and attaches to /=bo/

 

 

 nótnà

ʔáwꜜlé
 

 hàdí

ʔáwbò

 

 

/nóꜜ-di=na

ʔáwꜜ-lé/

 

/hàꜛ=di

ʔáwꜜ=bo/

 

 what-nm=2sg.sbj

say-q

 

 aff=1sg.sbj

say=vc1

 

'what did you say?'

 

'I say'

 

(36)

/w/ coda is reassigned as syllable onset when followed by /-ánꜜ/

 

 tìì

ʔáꜜwánnà

 

/tììꜜ

ʔáwꜜ-ánꜜ=na /

 1sg

say-neg=vc2

'I do not say'

 

The strongest counterevidence to my above conclusion is that when the future suffix /-sa/ and a subject clitic are added to a verb root ending in a diphthong, the morphophonemic processes which take place seem to treat that coda like a vowel. As will be discussed in §5.2, the suffix /-sa/ will elide its final vowel and merge with the clitic if the verb root to which it attaches ends in an open-syllable. This is exactly what occurs in (37) where /ʔáwꜜ-sa=ɡa=na/ 'he will say' is realized as [ʔáwskànà] and not *[ʔáwsàɡànà], suggesting that the phonology treats the coda of /ʔáwꜜ/ as a vowel.

 

(37)

 ʔáwskànà

 

/ʔáwꜜ-sa=ɡa=na/

 say-fut=3m.sbj=vc2

'he will say'

 

However, the phonology does not treat coda of /ʔawꜜ/ like a vowel with the addition of a VC suffix, such as the imperative marker /-éʃ/. Elsewhere, when this morpheme attaches to a verb root ending in an open-syllable the vowel of the suffix will elide. In the case of these diphthongs, however, this is not true. Thus, as shown in (38), /ʔáwꜜ-éʃ/ 'say!' is realized as [ʔáwꜜéʃ] and not *[ʔáꜜúʃ].

 

(38)

 ʔáꜜwéʃ

 

/ʔáwꜜ-éʃ/

 say-imp.sg

'say!'

3.5 Vowel Assimilation in the Accusative Suffix

One final aspect of the Ganza vowel system which should be touched on, if only briefly, is the presence of vowel harmony. While this system on the whole cannot be characterised as  "harmonic", there is one context which I have observed thus far where there is long-distance assimilation of vowel features. This is when the accusative suffix /-lì/ attaches to the personal pronouns, as shown in (39). In this environment the default /i/ vowel of the suffix will fully assimilate with the vowel of the pronoun, or in some cases will elide altogether. For the second-person plural there is metathesis, but this is anomalous in the phonology of Ganza.

 

(39)

/tìꜛ-lì/

tìlíꜜ

1sg-acc

 

/jé-lì/

jélè

2sg-acc

/kjánáꜜ-lì/

kjánálꜜ

3m-acc

/kíꜜ-lì/

kílì ~ kílꜜ

3f-acc

 

/mùꜛ-lì/

mùlúꜜ

1pl-acc

 

/nàmꜛ-lì/

nàmíl

2pl-acc

 

/kúꜜ-lì/

kúlù ~ kúlꜜ

3pl-acc

4. The Shape of the Word

Having established the phonemes of Ganza, I now give an account of the structure of the word, in particular what constitutes a well-formed root. To begin I describe the attested syllable structures found in free words, making generalizations about them and giving an example of the maximal syllable. Next I briefly describe the syllable patterns attested in bound morphemes. Finally, I look at the distribution patterns of the individual consonant phonemes in terms of word-position and adjacency in consonant clusters, and from this derive phonotactic generalizations about the language.

4.1 Syllable Structure

Compared to other Mao languages the syllable patterns attested in Ganza are notably complex. For example, Bambassi Mao only unambiguously exhibits CV and CVC syllable profiles (plus their geminate vowel counterparts) in its monomorphemic words (Ahland 2009:18), whereas Ganza has a wide attestation of both complex onsets and codas. In Figure 21 below I give examples of all attested syllable profiles in both monosyllabic and polysyllabic free words in Ganza. Notice especially the complementary distribution of single and double vowels in open-syllables, with the former only occurring in polysyllabic words and the latter only in monosyllabic words. It should also be noted that there are static restrictions for Cw/jV syllables, with Cj occurring only before /a e o/ and Cw only before /a e i/.

 

Syllable Profile

Monosyllabic Free Words

Polysyllabic Free Words

CV

not attested

 

.ꜜsí

'meat'

CwV

not attested

 

kʼwà.ɗí

'head'

CjV

not attested

 

kjà.

'Colobus monkey'

CVV

béè

'black kite'

not attested

 

CwVV

pʼwíì

'type of tree'

not attested

 

CjVV

kʼjóò

'body'

not attested

 

CVC

màk

'fox'

ʃìl.ká

'chin fat'

CjVC

ɲjákʰ

'kingfisher'

bján.sʼà

'fishhook'

CwVC

sʼwék

'sorghum'

ʃwàm.bà̰

'armpit'

CVNC

ʔúnsʼ

'to crawl'

kʼónsʼ.ꜜkʼól

'noise'

Figure 21 – Syllable profiles of free words in Ganza.

From these attested profiles we can derive the following generalizations about well-formed roots in Ganza.

 

a.

"Require Onset" – All syllables must have an onset. Apparent vowel-initial words actually begin with the glottal stop phoneme /ʔ/ in the underlying form.[30]

 

 

b.

"Require Bimoraic Word" – Free words are minimally bimoraic (i.e. heavy syllables). Thus all monosyllabic words must have a heavy syllable, with either a doubled vowel (C(w/j)VV) or a coda (C(w/j)VC).

 

 

c.

"Permit Codas" –  Simple codas are permitted in all positions.

 

 

d.

"Permit Onglides" – Complex onsets are allowed if the second consonant of the cluster is a semivowel  (Cw/j).

 

 

e.

"Permit NC in Rhyme" – Complex codas are allowed if the first consonant of the cluster is a nasal (CVNC).

 

While the largest syllable found Ganza roots is Cw/jVC or CVNC, the maximal syllable is actually Cw/jVNC.  This occurs when there is final vowel elision (see §5.1) in a Cw/jVN.CV root.  This process can be seen in (40) and (41), where the root /kʼwántʼà/ 'far' takes the allomorphic stem /kʼwéntʼꜜ/ when the verbal clitic /=bo/ is attached.

 

(40)

/kʼwántʼà/

'far'

 

 

 

 

(41)

/kʼwéntʼꜜ=bo/

'[it] is far' 

 

 

 

 

Unlike free words, bound morphemes in Ganza are all monosyllabic, never contain double vowels, and may be onsetless. Attested syllable profiles on suffixes are CV, VC, and V. The CV and VC type suffixes will elide to C, however, when attached to an open-syllable (i.e. /CV-CV/ à [CV-C] and /CV1-V2C/ à [CV1-C]).[31] The two V suffixes however, namely the interrogative /-é/ and the locative /-o/, behave in two different ways. The former elides entirely when attached to an open syllable (i.e. /CV1-é/ à [CV1]) whereas the latter causes final vowel elision on the stem to which it attaches (i.e. /CV-o/ à [C-o]). Clitics only have one attested syllable profile, CV, and never undergo vowel elision (see also §5.2).[32]

4.2 Phonotactics

The following chart (Figure 22) shows the attested distribution of each consonant phoneme within free word stems in the following positions: word-initial simple onset, complex onset with /w/, complex onset with /j/, intervocalic, C1 in a consonant cluster with an oral consonant, C1 in a consonant cluster with a nasal consonant,  C2 in a consonant cluster with an oral consonant,  C2 in a consonant cluster with a nasal consonant, and word-final simple coda. These data are taken from my analyzed wordlist, which contains around 1100 entries for free words. It should be noted that in the chart C stands for oral consonants but does not include the semivowels /w/ and /j/. A plus symbol (+) indicates that the occurrence is well attested, whereas a numeral indicates only one or two instances. A minus symbol (-) and dark shaded cell indicates that the occurrence is not attested in any data. For consonant clusters, an asterisk (*) indicates that the sequence is not attested in roots but may be found across morpheme boundaries within stems (e.g. in compounds or with derivational morphology). Similarly, an exclamation mark (!) indicates the sequence is not attested in native roots but may be found in borrowed words. These are last two categories are partially shaded.

 

 

#_V

_w

_j

V_V

_C

_N

C_

N_

_#

Attested Consonant Clusters

Attested in Native Roots

*Roots,

Morpheme Boundaries (*)

*Roots,

Borrows (!)

/p/

+

+

+

+

-

*

!

+

+

pw, pj, mp, 

pk, pm, np

rp

/pʼ/

+

+

+

+

*

-

-

+

+

pʼw, pʼj, mpʼ

pʼt

 

/b/

+

2

1

+

-

-

!

+

+

bw, bj, mb

 

rb

/t/

+

+

+

+

1/*

*/!

*/!

*/!

+

tw, tj, tk        

tp, pt, kt, tm, tn, nt

rt, tn, nt

/tʼ/

+

+

+

+

*

-

2

+

+

tʼw, tʼj, ntʼ, ltʼ, rtʼ, ʔ̃tʼ

ttʼ

 

/d/

+

1

-

+

-

-

-

+

+

dw, nd

 

 

/k/

+

+

+

+

-

-

+

-

+

kw, kj, sk, sʼk, ʃk lk, tk

zk, pk, ʃkw, zkw

rk

/kʼ/

+

+

+

+

-

-

+

+

+

kʼw, kʼj, ŋkʼ skʼ, sʼkʼ, ʃkʼ, lkʼ, nsʼkʼ, jkʼ

 

 

/ɡ/

+

+

+

+

-

-

+

+

+

ɡw, ɡj, ŋɡ, zɡ, lɡ, ŋɡj

/m/

+

+

2

+

+

-

*/!

-

+

mw, mj, mb, mp, mpʼ

mɡ, mʃ, pm, tm, lm

lm

/n/

+

-

+

+

+

-

*/!

-

+

nj, nd, ntʼ, ns, nsʼ, nz, nsʼkʼ

np, nt, tn, nsʼk, nzj

tn, nt

/ŋ/

-

-

-

+

+

-

-

-

+

ŋkʼ, ŋɡ, ŋɡj

 

 

/r/

-

-

-

+

1/!

-

-

-

+

rtʼ

 

rp, rb, rt, rk, rɡ

/l/

+

*

 

+

+

*/!

*

-

+

ltʼ, lk, lkʼ, lɡ

lm, lw, ls, ʔl

lh, lm

/s/

+

+

1

+

+

-

*

+

+

sj, sw, ns, sk, skʼ,

ls, ss

 

/z/

+

1

+

+

1/*

-

-

+

-

zw, zj, zɡ, nz

nzj, zkw

 

/ʃ/

+

+

-

+

+

-

*

*

+

ʃw, ʃk, ʃkʼ

wʃ, mʃ, ʃh, ʃkw

 

/sʼ/

+

+

+

+

+

-

-

+

+

sʼw, sʼj, nsʼ, sʼk, sʼkʼ, nsʼkʼ

 

 

/ʔ/

+

-

-

+

*

-

-

-

2

 

ʔw, ʔl

 

/ʔ̃/

-

-

1

+

1

-

-

-

-

ʔ̃j, ʔ̃tʼ

 

 

/h/

+

-

-

1/!

-

-

!/*

-

-

 

ʃh

lh

/w/

+

-

-

+

*

-

+

+

+

pw, pʼw, bw, tw, tʼw, dw, kw, kʼw, ɡw, mw, sw, zw, ʃw, sʼw

ʔw, lw, wʃ, ʃkw, zkw

 

/j/

+

-

-

+

2

-

+

+

+

pj, pʼj, bj, tj, tʼj, kj, kʼj, ɡj, mj, nj, zj, sj, sʼj, jkʼ, ʔ̃j, ŋɡj

nzj

 

Figure 22 - Consonant phoneme distribution patterns of Ganza.

From these data we can make the following generalizations about Ganza phonotactics:

 

a.

Well-formed roots do not permit an oral consonant to precede a nasal in consonant clusters.

 

Except for in borrowed words and at morpheme boundaries, oral consonants never precede a nasal consonant in a consonant cluster; *CN is disallowed. This is true both of clusters across a syllable break and within complex codas.

 

b.

Well-formed roots do not permit heterorganic places of articulation in nasal-oral consonant clusters.

 

In Ganza's free word roots all NC clusters are homorganic with respect to place of articulation, with the exception of semivowel onglides. Since, however, heterorganic NC and CN clusters are attested across morpheme boundaries and in borrowed words, there is no active process of place assimilation.

 

c.

Sibilants and velar stops have the most liberal distribution patterns.

 

Aside from a few restrictions in consonant clusters, the phonemes /s, sʼ, kʼ/ and /ɡ/ have the strongest attestation across the phonotactic environments defined above. Similarly, /k, z/ and /ʃ/ are also well attested in nearly all environments. They have only a few limitations compared to their counterparts, namely */ŋk/ (see footnote 15), */ʃj/ and */nʃ/ (which would be expected if /ʃ/ is indeed an old coalescence of /sj/ as proposed in §2.3), and the odd lack of /z/ word finally.[33]

 

d.

Velar oral consonants exhibit the widest range of heterorganic consonant clusters.

 

In particular, the voiceless /k/ and ejective /kʼ/ velar phonemes are found adjacent to a variety of alveolar consonants, especially as C2.  Also /kʼ/ and /ɡ/ are the only oral stops found in triadic consonant clusters, namely /nsʼkʼ/ and /ŋɡj/.

 

e.

The alveolar trill is almost exclusively found in consonant clusters in borrowed words.

 

 

All noun and verb roots which attest /r/ in a consonant cluster are borrowed words, mostly from Arabic. The one exception to this is the word /jàrtʼà/ 'arrow', which may or may not be borrowed from a neighbouring language.

5. Morphophonemic Processes

In this section I describe two interesting morphophonemic phenomena found in Ganza. The first is the stem allomorphy of certain noun and verb stems via final vowel elision and vocalic alternation. This phenomenon is especially relevant in light of the wide-attestation of final vowel elision in other Mao languages (Ahland 2009 & Girma 2015). The second phenomenon is the convergence of final vowel elision, final-devoicing, voicing assimilation and manner assimilation in stacked suffixes and clitics. As will be shown, it appears that these processes apply to suffixes, clitics, and roots at different stages of the phonological derivation, thus lending support to a serial theory of phonology (e.g. the Theory of Lexical Phonology (Kiparsky 1982, 2000)) rather than a simultaneous theory (e.g. standard Optimality Theory (Prince & Smolensky 1993)).

5.1 Final Vowel Elision and Vocalic Alternation Stem Allomorphy

Probably the most interesting feature of Ganza phonology, and one that has already been alluded to in this paper, is the process of stem allomorphy which occurs in a subset of nouns and verbs in certain grammatical environments. This stem allomorphy takes two forms in Ganza: elision of the final vowel, and vocalic alternation. The former is expected given that final vowel deletion is attested in all other Mao languages (Ahland 2009:16, Girma 2015, Getachew 2015:60). Ganza is unique, however, in that this elision only occurs in particular grammatical environments and only for a subset of nouns and verbs.[34] The second type of allomorphy is a vocalic alternation [ja~e] or [wa~e] and is also only attested in a subset of nouns and verbs. Hayward wrote about an alternation between ɑ ~ i attested in several North Omotic languges and questioned whether the same phenomena is found in the Mao languages (Hayward 1991:539). While Hayward's alternation and the alternation found in Ganza are phonetically similar, the two phenomena are not likely related since their locus and conditions are so divergent, the former affecting verbal inflectional morphemes and the latter noun and verb roots under certain grammatical conditions.

 

The two types of stem allomorphy are not mutually exclusive. Indeed, Ganza noun and verb roots can be divided into three categories: those which have no allomorphy, those which undergo final-vowel elision (hereafter FV-Elision), and those which undergo both FV-Elision and vocalic alternation (hereafter V-Alternation).[35]­, [36]

 

The nouns are the simplest to describe in terms of the distribution of stem allomorphs. Simply put, if a noun is modified in any way, whether by a determiner, adjective, possessor, or the like, it will take its allomorphic form. Examples of this are given below in (42), (43), and (44) showing the differing behaviour of nouns with no allomorphy, nouns with FV-Elision, and nouns with FV-Elision and V-Alternation respectively.

 

(42)

No-allomorphy [37]

 

pʼjàlâ

'star'

wàŋà

'chicken'

 

pʼjàlátpò

'it is a star'

wàŋàtpô

'it is a chicken'

ʔìtʰí pʼjàlà

'that star'

ʔìtʰí wáŋá

'that chicken'

náꜜkʰá pʼjàlà

'big star'

náꜜkʰá wáŋá

'big chicken'

náꜜkʰá pʼjàlàtpò

'it is a big star'

náꜜkʰá wáŋátpò

'it is a big chicken'

 

(43)

FV-Elision

 

tʰámâ

'fire'

kʰálà

'porridge'

 

tʰámátpò

'it is a fire'

kʰálàtpò

'it is a porridge'

ʔìtʰí tʰám

'that fire'

ʔìtʰí kʰál

'that porridge'

náꜜkʰá tʰám

'big fire'

kʰárá kʰál

'hot porridge'

náꜜkʰá tʰámdìpò

'it is a big fire'

kʰárá kʰál