Nasal strengthening in Northern Sotho

Maepa, Mafotha Charles (2001-12)

Thesis (MA)--University of Stellenbosch, 2001.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This study focuses on the phonological process of Nasal Strengthening in Northern Sotho. It sets out to employ two phonological models to describe the phenomenon in order to determine which model presents the most credible explanation for the phenomenon. The core elements of a classical linear model, the so called SPE model of Transformational Generative (TG) phonology is described and applied to the phenomenon. It is indicated that a number of phonological rules are actually involved in the process as a whole. It is argued that the following rules are in fact involved in the generation of appropriate phonetic outputs: a strengthening rule, a homorganic nasal assimilation rule and a nasal deletion rule. The previously inexplicable /k'/ insertion rule is shown to be nothing more than part of a more general process of glottal stop strengthening. This is indeed a new view with respect to the traditional stance on "vowel strengthening." Although the majority of the sound changes may be accounted for within a TG model, the formalism of the strengthening rule itself unfortunately does not reflect any phonetic explanation for the phenomenon. A second, non-linear, phonological model, i.e. a Feature Geometry model (FG) is described and applied to the same phenomenon. It appears that although the more contemporary FG model presents innovative ideas on the structure of phonological representations and processes, it can not account for the strengthening of voiced fricatives at all. At the most this model seems to be able only to account for voiceless fricatives being strengthened to voiced obstruents. It is clear that none of the models can present a complete and credible account of Nasal Strengthening in Northern Sotho.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie studie focus op die proses van Nasaalversterking in Noord Sotho. Twee fonologiese modelle word gebruik in die analise van die verskynsel ten einde te bepaal welke model die mees geskik is om 'n geloofwaardige verklaring aan te bied. Die hoofelemente van 'n lineere Transformasioneel Generatiewe (TG) model word beskryf en toegepas in Noord Sotho. Daar word aangetoon dat die proses uit 'n verskeidenheid verwante prosesse bestaan en daar word geargumenteer dat die volgende reels almal 'n rol speel: "n verstekingsreel, 'n homorgane assimilasiereel en 'n nasaaldelesiereel. 'n Vorige onverklaarbare Ik.'/ invoegingsreel word geherinterpreteer as 'n glottale stop versterkingsreel wat nuwe verduidelikings bied vir die sg versterking van vokale. Alhoewel die meeste van die klankwisselinge verantwoord kan word binne 'n TG model, bied die format van die versterkingsreel ongelukkig geen fonetiese motivering vir die proses aan me. 'n Tweede model, die sg Kenmerkgeometrie (KG), is vervolgens beskryf en toegepas. Dit het heel gou geblyk dat hierdie model, ten spyte van baie innovasies, nie in staat is om die versterking van sternhebbende frikatiewe te verantwoord nie. Dit kon slegs 'n sinvolle beskrywing van die versterking van stemlose frikatiewe moontlik maak. Uit hierdie studie blyk dit dat nie een van die twee modelle wat aangewend is 'n volledige en geloofwaardige beskrywing van die verskynsel van Nasaalversterking in Noord Sotho kan aanbied nie.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/52348
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