It was about one and a half years ago that I finally I arrived where I had always wanted to be and do what I had always wanted-- teach students, support small language communities and conduct research on African languages on my doorstep. The University of Cape Town and my new colleagues welcomed my efforts to establish the Centre for African Language Diversity-- CALDi as well as The African Language Archive-- TALA and I was recently appointed the Mellon Research Chair: African Language Diversity this initiative. The main aim of CALDi is to train young African scholars in descriptive linguistics and open up space for research into African languages at UCT with the hopes of countering the dominance of African linguistics outside the continent. It has been a great challenge for which my whole career has been a form of preparation...Read more
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Aspects of Zaiwa Prosody: An Autosegmental Account
The purpose of this study is to provide a generative and autosegmental phonological analysis of the Zaiwa language with emphasis on prosodic components. This is a preliminary phonology of Zaiwa with a relatively complete treatment of all phonological aspects, concentrating on suprasegmental components. The generative/autosegmental framework employed incorporates feature geometry in a manner that provides a view of the interaction of segmentals and suprasegmentals. In particular, the interaction of voice quality, tone, and consonantal features are presented using feature geometry and underspecification in order to differentiate lexical tone from derived tone. It is the author's goal to provide a basis for understanding the processes occurring in Zaiwa phonology and provide helpful insights in understanding similar processes in other Tibeto-Burman languages. Mark Wannemacher has lived in Southeast Asia for eight years and his research on the Zaiwa language has been conducted over the past six years with speakers from various dialect areas.