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Kash phonology III

From:Roger Mills <romilly@...>
Date:Thursday, February 1, 2001, 22:55
"Next, some morphology"-- ah, not quite yet.

STRESS:  Generally penultimate, characterized by a rise in pitch; stressed
vowels are not lengthened;  but intervocalic voiceless stops following a
stressed vowel are lengthened slightly.  Most, but not all, suffixes cause
stress to shift to the new penult.  A handful of forms have final stress,
not indicated in writing-- these are mainly the numbers 11-19, and the month
names, where contracted forms of the units occur in final position.

SANDHI (combinatorial changes):  In speech, when some final and initial
consonants meet within a phonological phrase (typically N-Adj., V-ri (a
common prep.), some V-O, or in contracted fast speech), certain changes
affect final nasals and  /r/.

1. /-r/ deletes before palatal /sh, c, ñ, y/
2. /-r/ metathesizes with all other following consonants, such that:
        r + p/f/v > pr, r + t/s/l > tr, r + k/h > kr (r + nasal > nasal + r,
see below); r + r may > either a prolonged trilled /r/, or /nd/.

3. any final nasal (m n ñ[=N]) + vl. fricatives /h sh s f/ > k c t p (i.e.
the nasal deletes, the fric. "hardens").

4. any final nasal + vl. stop /k c t p/ > prenasalized ng, nj, nd, mp

5. any final nasal + /v y l/ > m ñ nd respectively.

6. any final nasal + /pr, tr/ > mbr, ndr resp.(mb/nd in the case of

7. -m or -n + r > mbr, ndr (or mb/nd as above)

8. -ñ [N] + r > kr (either k or no change if another /r/ precedes)

9.  -l + r > tr (optionally, no change)

While most speakers observe these rules, it is possible to ignore them,
perhaps for emphasis, or to avoid sequences of r's, or simply from some
personal sense of euphony.  They are seldom indicated in writing.
Completely ignoring them, however, is felt to slow the flow of speech too
much, and would be considered pedantic or condescending, awkward, or

The sandhi rules apply (in writing, too) to full reduplications and
compounds.  Many such forms show contraction of the first member (either
CVCVC > CVCV- or CVCVC/CVCV > CVC-) especially if the medial C is subject to
sandhi-- e.g. cini 'middle' + lero 'day' > cindero 'noon'.  There are
exceptions, but this, at least, is current practice.  Older and borrowed
forms may show other developments.

Prefixes and suffixes also obey the sandhi rules, with some exceptions, to
be discussed in Morphology.