Nasal harmony and the representation of nasality in Maxacalí

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Popovich (1971) claimed that nasality in Maxacalí is contrastive for both consonants and vowels. Rodrigues (1980) proposes to eliminate nasality entirely from the set of phonological features of Maxacalí and to represent all voiced, prenasalized and nasal consonants as voiced consonants in the lexical representation. In this paper, we take up this discussion and present an alternative analysis that is intermediate between the proposals by Popovich and Rodrigues. On the basis of evidence drawn from the adaptation of Brazilian loanwords in Maxacalí, it is concluded that nasality is contrastive for vowels.


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