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date: 02 June 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter focuses on the contributions African languages have made to phonological theory. The first section reviews some of the highlights in the development of autosegmental representations, concentrating on the interface of sound segments with prosodic structure. It is shown how one–many and many–one relations between phonemes and syllable positions elucidate the behavior of geminate consonants and the compensatory lengthening that accompanies processes of devocalization and prenasalization. The sections that follow consider the African contribution to studies concerning the scope and limits of phonological variation. Typologies of vowel harmony, vowel hiatus resolution and nasal-consonant coalescence, syllabification, reduplication, and phonological phrasing are surveyed.

Keywords: autosegmental representation, typology, vowel harmony, reduplication, phonological phrasing

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