Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

John M. Clifton


Awara is a Papuan language of Papua New Guinea spoken in the Finisterre Mountain Range. Though it has been mentioned in papers written about the Finisterre-Huon languages and about the Wantoat language (another language in the Wantoat family), the Awara sound system has not been described in depth.

This paper describes the Awara phonemic inventory, autosegmental features, morphophonemic processes, and implications for the Awara orthography. The analysis is presented within the framework of rules-based Generative Phonology.

Interesting aspects of the language shown here are 1) prenasalized voiced stops, 2) complex, phonemes /kw/, /ŋw/ and /gw/, 3) non--universal morphophonemic processes such as devoicing of consonants intervocalically and voicing of consonants after voiceless stop consonants, and 4) counterfeeding and counterbleeding relationships between various morphophonemic processes.

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