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
The Cambridge Handbook of Communication Disorders examines the full range of developmental and acquired communication disorders and provides the most up-to-date and comprehensive guide to the epidemiology, aetiology and clinical features of these disorders.
This study investigates two alternative ways in which languages resolve sequences of adjacent vowels (hiatus): deletion of one of the vowels, or coalescence of the adjacent vowels to form a third vowel that combines features of both the originals. Although existing phonological theories predict relatively few restrictions on the behavior of either process, a survey of 92 languages reveals a number of surprising and previously unreported limitations on their behavior. For example, although deletion of the first of two vowels is extremely common and can apply in any position, deletion of the second vowel is restricted to certain well-defined morpho-syntactic contexts, such as the boundary between a root and a suffix. These restrictions, are explained in terms of functionally-motivated constraints that favor preservation of phonological material in certain prominent positions, such as in root morphemes. In the case of coalescence, the study reveals a surprising correlation between the structure of a language's vowel inventory and the result of merging high and a non-high vowels. This correlation is explained in terms of a novel theory of acoustic height features whose detailed specification is determined by functionally-motivated constraints sensitive to the number of vowel heights within a particular language.