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Kabyle phonology

From:Danny Wier <dawier@...>
Date:Wednesday, February 5, 2003, 12:22
Kabyle is one of the Northern Berber languages (Afro-Asiatic); it is spoken by
2.5 million or more in Algeria.

Labials: b B bw f m w
Dentals: d D d. t T t. n l
Alveolars: s s. ts z z. dz r r.
Palatals: S tS Z dZ j
Velars: g G gw Gw k x kw xw
Uvulars: R Rw q qw X Xw
Pharyngeals: H 3
Glottals: ? h
Vowels: a @ i u

Some features:
1) /d./, /t./, /s./, /z./ and /r./ are "emphatics", a set of
velarized/pharyngealized consonants also found in Arabic.
2) There is a fortis/lenis distinction: b > B, d > D, t > T, k > x, g > G.
Lenition occurs with non-initial, non-geminated, non-emphatic stops, as in
Biblical Hebrew.
3) Common Berber tt > ts, dd > dz.
4) Labiovelarized variants of velars, uvulars and the one labial /b/ have
phonemic status.
5) Like Arabic, there is no /p/; Proto-Afro-Asiatic /p/ became Berber /f/, just
like it did in Arabic and South Semitic.
6) There is no length distinction of vowels, and /@/ is a result of insertion.

I'm posting this phonology because it gave me plenty of ideas for Tech: its
consonant clusters, labiovelarization and spirantization (lenition). Lenition
originally came from Gaelic and Hebrew however.


Danny Wier <dawier@...>