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Academic Paper

Title: Kafa Phonology
Paper URL:
Author: Rolf Theil
Email: click here TO access email
Institution: University of Oslo
Linguistic Field: Phonology
Subject Language: Kafa
Abstract: Two analyses are presented, Kafa I (with foreign sounds) and Kafa II (without foreign sounds). Kafa I is interpreted as the contemporary phonology, while Kafa II is the historical stage preceding the time when Amharic loanwords started to enter the language in larger quantities. Not all phonemes of Kafa I are equally integrated in the phonological system; phonemes with a low frequency are least integrated, and tend to be replaced by phonologically similar phonemes with a higher frequency. Both analyses differ from earlier ones, primarily because some distinctive consonant oppositions postulated earlier turn out to be non-distinctive when quantity is taken care of in a more exact way. Kafa II consonant clusters are shown to constitute strictly defined sets, and most foreign clusters in Kafa I do not differ radically from the native ones.
Type: Individual Paper
Status: In Progress
Publication Info: Journal of African Languages and Linguistics. Vol. 28, No. 2, December 2007: pp. 193–216, ISSN (Online) 1613-3811, ISSN (Print) 0167-6164, DOI: 10.1515/JALL.2007.010.

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