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Aspects of phonology in Eboo-Nzikou (Bantu B74)

By Ruth Raharimanantsoa


This paper describes aspects of the phonology of Eboo-Nzikou which forms part of the Teke language group (Bantu B70) spoken in Congo-Brazzaville. It posits that Eboo and Nzikou are phonologically the same variety of Teke. Proto-Bantu reconstructions, as well as two previous phonological sketches of Eboo are taken as the basis for this study. Some of the findings of these sketches are re-interpreted in the light of further research and fieldwork carried out by myself and others. A revised consonant, vowel and syllable inventory is presented for Eboo-Nzikou, with prenasalised consonants as sequences of nasal plus consonant. The number of vowel phonemes is increased to nine oral and seven nasalised vowels, compared to the previously proposed systems of five or seven oral vowels and five nasalised vowels. A mid-vowel split is shown to have occurred, with [e] and [o] functioning as phonemes in the verb system, as a result of advanced tongue root harmony, consonant loss and final vowel deletion. The emergence of two new high vowel phonemes is posited, as well as the nasalisation and lengthening of vowels, as a result of second consonant deletion in stems. Comparative analysis is based on Proto-Bantu reconstructions and data from other Teke varieties.student essa

Topics: African linguistics, Bantu languages, Congo-Brazzaville, Teke, Eboo-Nzikou, Proto-Bantu, phonology, advanced tongue root harmony, consonant loss, vowel assimilation, vowel splits, nasalisation
Year: 2012
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