A Phonological Sketch of the Kufo Language

Date

2022

Authors

Li, Shubo

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Abstract

The linguistic diversity of East Africa is well-known, but understandings of the languages in some regions, such as the Nuba Mountains of Sudan, remain extremely limited. There are many open questions regarding the linguistic relationships and genetic affiliation of languages in the Nuba Mountains, and there have been few detailed studies of the many typologically interesting features that these languages exhibit, particularly in their sound systems. This Honours project aims to develop the first detailed description of the sound system of Kufo, an endangered Kadu language that is traditionally spoken in the Nuba Mountains in south Kordofan, Sudan. The project draws on approaches of experimental phonetics and language documentation to investigate the consonants, vowels, and tones of Kufo, based on speech data collected with one participant, and analysed using qualitative and quantitative methods. This study contributes to crosslinguistic understandings of phonological typology and to the knowledge of the linguistic structure of East African languages. The study also contributes information that informs current community efforts related to language maintenance.

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Keywords

linguistics, African languages, Nilo-Saharan, Kadu, Kadugli-Krongo, Kufo, Kufa, acoustic phonetics, laboratory phonology, vowel length, fortis consonants, lenis consonants, tone

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Type

Thesis (Honours)

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DOI

10.25911/QQPD-PP24

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