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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Minimalism and French /ʀ/: Phonological representations in phonetically based phonology
This paper examines the phonological structure of French rhotics and their treatment in a production grammar. Assuming emergent featural specification, it is argued that the underlying representation of /ʀ/ contains only values for sonorance, continuance and place of articulation. Grammatical analysis is undertaken in an Optimality Theoretic framework, where evaluation highlights the effect of effort reduction and perceptual augmentation on /ʀ/, also demonstrating that more richly specified segments are unaffected by these constraints. The proposal is shown to be compatible with antecedent analyses and data from regional forms and registers.