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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Vowel deletion as mora usurpation: the case of Yine
Vowel deletion in Yine crucially refers to both morphological and phonological information. It has been argued that the process is only analysable in a theory where the phonology has access to morphology, either on the assumption of different morphological domains of constraint evaluation (Lin , , ) or on the assumption of morphologically indexed optimality-theoretic constraints (Pater ). In contrast, I propose a phonological analysis of vowel deletion in Yine in a parallel Optimality Theory model. The phonology, I assume, has only limited access to morphological information, and can only distinguish between affix and stem material. I argue that the morphemes that trigger deletion of a preceding vowel have a defective underlying representation: they lack a mora, and ‘usurp’ the mora of a preceding vowel.