Volume 44, Issue 2
  • ISSN 0731-3500
  • E-ISSN: 2214-5907
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East Tusom is a Tibeto-Burman language of Manipur, India, belonging to the Tangkhulic group. While it shares some innovations with the other Tangkhulic languages, it differs markedly from “Standard Tangkhul” (which is based on the speech of Ukhrul town). Past documentation is limited to a small set of hastily transcribed forms in a comparative reconstruction of Tangkhulic rhymes (Mortensen & Miller 2013Mortensen 2012). This paper presents the first substantial sketch of an aspect of the language: its (descriptive) phonetics and phonology. The data are based on recordings of an extensive wordlist (730 items) and one short text, all from one fluent native speaker in her mid-twenties. We present the phonetic inventory of East Tusom and a phonemicization, with exhaustive examples. We also present an overview of the major phonological patterns and generalizations in the language. Of special interest are a “placeless nasal” that is realized as nasalization on the preceding vowel unless it is followed by a consonant, and numerous plosive-fricative clusters (where the fricative is roughly homorganic with the following vowel) that have developed from historical aspirated plosives. A complete wordlist, organized by gloss and semantic field, is provided as appendices.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): assimilation; clusters; language documentation; phonetics; phonology; placeless nasal; Tangkhulic
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