Volume 7, Issue 1
  • ISSN 2215-1354
  • E-ISSN: 2215-1362
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The present study reports on verb-final variable realisation of the alveolar nasal /n/ in the Papuan language Idi. Elision of /n/ is correlated with both linguistic and social factors: present tense, a following consonant, and speakers over 60 show significantly greater rates of /n/ elision. Data from a 1988 grammar sketch indicate that for the present tense, variable realisation of verb-final /n/ is a case of stable, and perhaps age-graded, variation. Conversely, spread of n-less-ness into the other tenses may be a case of a change-in-progress, but at present this cannot clearly be confirmed. The older generation (speakers over 60) consistently show the highest rates of /n/ elision in all tenses. Elderly people are seen as the most proficient Idi speakers, and their position in society perhaps allows them to be more variable in their language use.


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