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Vowels and vowelharmony in Akan

From:taliesin the storyteller <taliesin@...>
Date:Sunday, January 24, 1999, 19:49
This year I'm doing Linguistics 102, and the topic for 102
in spring 1999 happens to be Akan, a very interesting
african language with approximately six million speakers in
the southerm half of Ghana. Sine it has several 'cool
features', I though I'd share some of them with the list as
I dig into the stuff myself. Stay tuned!

USE A FIXED-WIDTH FONT! (for instance courier)

source: Dolphyne, "The Akan (Twi-Fante) Language. Its Sound
Systems and Tonal Structure" (1988)

i \---------------- u -----
   \                      |
    \ e.               o. |
  e  \--------------------| o
      \                   |
       \                  |
     3  \-----------------| c
         \     (a.)       |
          \               |
                   a     =20

a. is not phonemic, but an allophone of a. Not all dialects
use it.

All back vowels (u o. o c) are rounded, all others unrounded.
High and low vowels have nazalized counterparts. The
nazalization is=A0phonemic, but not marked in the orthography.

    i i~ e. e.~ a a~ o. o.~ u u~

Mid vowels (e 3 c o) are oral only.

Vowel harmony, advanced tongue root (the Fante dialect has=20
rounding harmony in some verb-affixes as well)

SET  I: i  e  a. o  u  (ATR+)
SET II: e. 3  a  c  o. (ATR-)

Generally, in a word of more than one syllable, only vowels
of one set may occur.