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Simplifying a system: a story of language change in Lelepa, Vanuatu

CollectionsAustralian Linguistic Society Conference (2011)
Title: Simplifying a system: a story of language change in Lelepa, Vanuatu
Author(s): Lacrampe, Sebastien
Australian Linguistic Society
Keywords: Lelepa
Oceanic
borrowings
vowels
language change
Publisher: Australian Linguistic Society
Citation: Lacrampe, S. (2012). Simplifying a system: A story of language change in Lelepa, Vanuatu. In M. Ponsonnet, L. Dao & M. Bowler (Eds), Proceedings of the 42nd Australian Linguistic Society Conference – 2011, Australian National University, Canberra ACT, 2-4 December 2011 (pp. 224-245).
Series/Report no.: Australian Linguistic Society Conference: 42nd
Description: 
This paper focuses on the problem posed by the vowel surfacing during two encliticization processes in Lelepa (Oceanic, Vanuatu), with the nominalizer =na ‘NMLZ’ and the pronominal =s ‘OBL’. For instance, the verbs faam ‘eat’, mat ‘dead’ and fan ‘go:IRR’ are derived as nafaamina ‘food’, nmatena ‘funeral’ and nafanona ‘departure’. While the base forms have the same vowel /a/, those vowels surfacing before =na seem unpredictable. This paper discusses several possible explanations for these vowels and shows that both historical and phonological approaches are needed to account for them. Still, there is variation in the nominalisation of certain native verbs such as raik ‘fish with hand spear’, which is derived as either naraikana or naraikina ‘hand spear fishing’. It is shown that while naraikana is accounted for in diachrony, naraikina results from a reanalysis process indicated by intergenerational variation.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1885/9402
ISBN: 978-0-9802815-4-5

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