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Summary Details

Query:   Minimal Pairs in Uighur
Author:  Jennifer Seale
Submitter Email:  click here to access email
Linguistic LingField(s):   Phonology

Summary:   Regarding query

The following are responses that I recieved on my question regarding minimal pairs in Uighur. It has been suggested I post them so that we all may benefit. Thank you so much for your replies!

Patrick Chew suggested the following resources:

Ronald Hahn?s ?Spoken Uyghur?
Vern Lindblad?s work on vowels in Uyghur
Vaux?s work on Uyghur at the following URL:

Ann Denwood supplied minimal pairs along with the following explanations:

1. Firstly, Uighur has a phenomenon similar to some speakers of British
English who insert a linking r, eg. shah - r - of Persia, vanilla -r-
icecream etc.

Uighur baha 'price, value' and bahar 'spring, season'

baha-r-im and bahar- im (1st p. poss)

Both these words are exceptions in the sense that they do not obey the so-called 'umlaut' rule, whereby we would predict *bahirim. This has to do with their origin in Arabic or Persian (I think) and the fact that the vowel a is long in their original language. (Also baha should become baham and not baharim if it behaved regularly)
2. The other phenomenon is a/i alternation (mentioned above), which can make apparent minimal pairs.

at 'horse' itim 'my horse' itimda/itimde 'my horse(loc)'

et 'meat' itim itimde

it 'dog' itim itimde (although this may be pronounced sht, shtim etc).

3. This alternation fails in another pair of words.

bala 'child' balisi (3p.poss)

bala 'disaster' balasi (3p poss). Again an Arabic word with original final long vowel and missing consonant.

LL Issue: 15.3208
Date Posted: 15-Nov-2004
Original Query: Read original query


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