Words, Phrases, Pauses and Boundaries: Evidence from South American Indian Languages
Author: Aikhenvald, Alexandra Y.
Source: Studies in Language, Volume 20, Number 3, 1996 , pp. 487-517(31)
Publisher: John Benjamins Publishing Company
Abstract:This paper discusses the phonological properties of words and phrases in two Northern Arawak languages of the Upper Rio Negro, Brazil. These features are h-prosody, vowel harmony triggered by the glottal fricative h, vowel nasalization and vowel diphthongization. A feature that is used to mark a word in one language may mark a phrase in the other. There is a regular interdependence between morphemes and syllables.
The most unusual characteristic of the languages is the existence of pausal forms which mark phrase-final and utterance-final boundaries. The phonological character of pause marking devices, viewed cross-linguistically, contradicts a wide-spread assumption about the entirely phonetic realization of pauses.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 1996
- International Journal sponsored by the Foundation "Foundations of Language"