Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Stellenbosch Papers in Linguistics Plus (SPiL Plus)]]> vol. 60 num. lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<b>Yorubá vowel deletion involves compensatory lengthening: Evidence from phonetics</b>]]> A phonetic pilot study of Yorubá vowel deletion shows that the vowel that remains after an adjacent vowel deletes is slightly but significantly longer than a short vowel in non-deletional contexts (p < 0.001). In the configuration studied here, deletion occurs in the vowel of a CV verb when occurring before a V-initial direct object (/CVi +V2 / → [CV2]). However, instead of full vowel deletion as it is previously analysed (e.g. Akinlabi and Oyebade 1987, Ola Orie and Pulleyblank 2002), a compensatory lengthening analysis is proposed based on this new phonetic evidence. The experiment for this study controlled for inherent vowel duration, voicing, and manner of articulation of the surrounding consonants. These results are in line with a similar result regarding Yorubá tone (Ajibóyè et al. 2011) in the same syntactic (verb + direct object) configuration. <![CDATA[<b>A spin to preserve contrast</b><b>: </b><b>Taiwanese tone sandhi</b>]]> Chain shifts, particularly circular ones such as the tone sandhi of Taiwanese Min, are easy to describe but the phonological underpinnings are difficult to explain. This paper synthesises ideas of markedness and contrast preservation to propose that the Taiwanese Min tone circle might historically first have been triggered by a ban against contour tones in non-final positions. This sets Preserve Contrast off into a diachronic chain reaction to maintain underlying contrasts in surface forms. This eventually settles into the modern grammar as antifaithfulness. While the historical trigger is speculative, the analysis proposed in this paper does find indirect corroboration in production and "back-construction" experiments that would have otherwise yielded irreconcilable data. <![CDATA[<b>Against words with two main stresses: The case of Guugu Yimidhirr revisited</b>]]> The aim of this article is to re-examine and argue against the existence of words with two main stresses in Guugu Yimidhirr, a Pama-Nyungan language spoken in Queensland, Australia. Based on phonological evidence from patterns of clash avoidance and the distribution of secondary stress, it is claimed that in words alleged to have two main-stressed syllables, each syllable has a different metrical status. Only the initial syllable is main-stressed, while the second is treated as unstressed in Guugu Yimidhirr's metrical phonology. In contrast to previous analyses found in the literature to solve the puzzle posed by Guugu Yimidhirr's double-headed words, this study finds no empirical support that motivates the weakening of prosodic theory by either allowing recursion at the level of the Prosodic Word or by proposing the existence of disyllabic feet with both of their syllables stressed. <![CDATA[<b>Buriat dorsal epenthesis is not reproduced with novel morphemes</b>]]> In Buriat, the consonant realised contextually as dorsal or uvular alternates with zero at stem-suffix boundaries. This alternation has been analysed as phonological epenthesis and has been known as a challenge to the existing theories of phonological markedness. The analysis of this alternation has also been debated. This paper presents new fieldwork and experimental "wug"-testing evidence addressing the productivity of the reported epenthesis pattern. The results do not fully support the phonological insertion account of the alternation. An alternative analysis of Buriat dorsal-zero alternation in terms of floating features is proposed. <![CDATA[<b>Effects of morphology in the nativisation of loanwords: The borrowing of /s/ in Xitsonga</b>]]> This article argues that the nativisation of loanwords in Xitsonga results from a pressure from morphology. In Xitsonga, a southern Bantu language, the /s/ in /sC/ clusters of English is always realised as [s] in non-initial positions. This /s/ is realised with variations when it appears in the initial position: either faithfully with an alveolar fricative [s], or with a palatal fricative [ʃ]. A loanword adaptation experiment confirms that this position-sensitive variation is part of the phonological grammar of a Xitsonga speaker. The adaptation of initial /sC/ clusters to [ʃiC] in the nativisation process is argued to result from pressures to incorporate loanwords into the existing noun class system - a case where morphology triggers phonological changes by creating a class 7 noun prefix [ʃi]. What is remarkable is the non-occurrence of palatalisation in non-initial positions. Since non-initial consonants are not subject to the same morphological pressure, the nativisation process of /s/ in these positions to [ʃ] is blocked.