Penultimate lengthening in Bantu

MyBook is a cheap paperback edition of the original book and will be sold at uniform, low price.
This Chapter is currently unavailable for purchase.

It is often remarked that Eastern and Southern Bantu languages that have lost the historical Proto-Bantu vowel-length contrast tend to have a process of penultimate lengthening (PL). However, there has never been a general, cross-linguistic survey of the phenomenon. In this paper I (i) delimit the geographical distribution of PL; (ii) determine the domain within which PL occurs: it is assumed that the process was innovated before pause, later “narrowing” to the right edge of phrases, then words; (iii) survey the factors that contribute to or block PL; and (iv) propose a historical relationship between PL and the restriction of length contrasts to metrically strong positions (penultimate, antepenultimate), which, I argue, leads to the ultimate loss of contrastive length.


This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address