Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
Desmond C. Derbyshire
The aim of this thesis is to present the phonological processes generating surface forms from underlying segments in Tainae, a Non-Austronesian language of Papua New Guinea.
All phonetically occurring segments in the language are examined in varying environments, e.g., in word-initial position, word-medial position, and word-final position. Chapter Two, Consonants in Tainae, concentrates on the consonants on the language, separating them into classes such as bilabial stops, alveolar stops, velar stops, fricatives, etc. Within each of these classes the various consonants which appear on the surface are compared with one another in scope of distribution and regarding which possible phonological rules can be posited to account for the variation in surface forms from the more limited set of underlying segments. The conclusions of this chapter propose a total of 8 underlying consonants (p, t, k, f, s, h, m, and n) for the 26 different surface consonants.
Chapter Three, Vowels in Tainae, concentrates on the vowels of the language in a manner similar to that used in the second chapter, separating them into sets such as front, central and back vowels. Within each of these sets the various vowels which appear on the surface are compared with one another in scope of distribution and regarding which possible phonological rules can be posited to account for the variation in surface forms from the more limited set of underlying segments. The conclusions of the third chapter propose a total of 6 underlying vowels (i, e, a, ɨ, u, and o) for the 12 different surface vowels, and also claim that the vowels /i/ and /u/ underlie all surface forms of the semivowels [y] and [w] respectively.
Chapter Four, Complex Vowel Sequences and Syllable Structure, examines the various complex vowel sequences within Tainae, making generalizations concerning those various sequences, and most particularly those which contain the high central vowel, /ɨ/. Surface realizations of these complex sequences are predicted in prose generalizations and also by means of crucially ordering the series of rules presented throughout the paper. These rule orderings and their effect on surface forms are then taken into account when determining the syllable structure of Tainae, both at the phonological level and at the phonetic level. Conclusions reached here are that Tainae has only open syllables at the underlying level, and that consonant clusters may split apart in surface realizations.
Carlson, Terry Bruce, "Phonological processes and syllable structure in Tainae" (1988). Theses and Dissertations. 4864.