Silva, Nevins & White (2019) – Domains and Prominence in Nasal Harmonization of Maxakalí Loanwords

Domains and Prominence in Nasal Harmonization of Maxakalí Loanwords
Mário Coelho da Silva, Andrew Ira Nevins, James White
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September 2019
We examine the patterns of loanword adaptation in Maxakalí, a Macro-Jê language of Brazil, in importing loans from Brazilian Portuguese, with respect to the introduction of nasality and nasal harmony, based on a corpus of 18 speakers. Employing MaxEnt modeling of quantitative trends enabled the comparison and analysis of certain recurrent trends, even if not exceptionless, and the potentially additive effects of their interaction. The results reveal that nasal harmonization, modeled as set of markedness constraints, is greatly enforced within syllable rimes, and strongly enforced within syllables, but shows little role for syllable-to-syllable harmony, demonstrating that harmonization is preferred within tighter prosodic domains. Word-initial consonants always retain their nasality or orality from Portuguese, and stressed vowels always preserve their nasality. These latter effects uphold the role of prominent positions in maintaining contrasts within loanword phonology. The overall patterns of loanword harmonization find convergence with certain characteristics within Maxakalí phonology itself.

Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/004795
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: To appear in IJAL
keywords: keywords: nasal harmony; loanword phonology; maxakalí, phonology