A grammar of Eton by Mark L O van de Velde

By Mark L O van de Velde

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Once again, the notion of prominence appears to be useful. The weight unit of the first vowel of every stem is prominent, unless it is immediately followed by another vowel. In that case prominence comes on the second vowel. (Remember that the major segmental manifestation of prominence lies on the preceding onset consonant, though). Prominent weight units have one segmental attachment site, but can link to two tones. Syllables can retain only one weight unit after derivation. Hence, the maximal number of tones that can be attached to a syllable is two.

In slow and deliberate speech this results in a rising tone on kùz: àté kӠz ࣨmbũ‫ڟ‬. In normal speech, however, the floating high tone attaches to the initial nasal consonant: àtũ‫ ڟ‬kùz ̶ࣨbũ‫ڟ‬. Consequently, the structurally non-syllabic nasal will become syllabic. ’ (NSP) LL HL L H L H22 x x x xxx x xx a t ũ kuz mbũ Ļ LĺH LL HL L H x xx xxx x xx a t ũ ku z mbũ Interestingly, something similar can happen on a glide or liquid onset of a prominent syllable. This consonant is then split in a syllabic and a non-syllabic part.

Pie-Claude’s voice was analogically recorded with a Nagra and then digitalised using the programme Sound Edit. 000 Hertz. The vowels are also measured in different contexts, with at 28 Phonology least 60 tokens per vowel. The plots were made with the programme Akustyk,12 which operates in Praat. Note the relatively high F2 value for /u/ in both analyses. Figure 4. Vowel plot: all vowels, Désiré Essono-Biyebe 12. I wish to thank Bartek Plichta, the maker of Akustyk, for making his programme available, for inserting the Eton vowel chart in the programme and for his help.

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