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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Constraints on onsets and codas of words and phrases
For any phonotactic restriction on syllable onsets and codas, it can be shown that parallel restrictions are attested at edges of each higher prosodic domain. Onsets can be required at the beginnings of syllables, words or utterances, codas can be banned at the ends of any of these constituents and so on. This paper argues that these restrictions follow from constraint schemata: any markedness constraint on syllable onsets or codas (M or M) is part of a family of constraints (M(Ons/PCat) or M(Coda/PCat)) which imposes parallel restrictions on initial onsets or final codas of each prosodic domain. These prosodic domain-edge markedness constraints can induce epenthesis, deletion or other segmental changes at domain edges; they can also shape the prosodic structure of words.