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By Olcher Sebastian Fedden.

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Additional resources for A grammar of Mian, a Papuan language of New Guinea

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Similarly, vowels in onset-less or coda-less nominal stems are longer than vowels in syllables which have onsets or codas. 4 Summary of factors determining vowel length Apart from free variation, five factors have been identified which bear on Mian vowel length. The following table gives a summary of their effects (read “>” as “longer vowel than for”). 5 Pharyngealization Mian has a phonemic distinction between a pharyngealized /aˤ/ (spelled ) and a plain /a/. I use a superscript pharyngeal ‘ʕ’ to indicate pharyngealization in phonemic and phonetic representations.

It occurs syllable-initially and syllable-finally. It is always aspirated before vowels and can be aspirated syllable-finally or be realized as an unreleased stop [k ̚]. /k/ also occurs as the second member of the syllable-initial consonant cluster /sk/. Between vowels, /k/ is often lenited to [x] (or even [ɣ] in fast speech). Before pharyngealized /aˤ/, /k/ is realized as an aspirated, voiceless uvular stop [qʰ]. • /g/ is a voiced velar stop. It occurs at the beginning of words and wordmedially, but is always in syllable-initial position.

It relies on explaining the observable length differences in Mian vowels and diphthongs in terms of the interaction of vowel quantity with other suprasegmental phenomena, such as tone/pitch and syllable structure, and morphological and syntactic processes, such as compounding and cliticization, which lead to polysyllabic shortening (cf. Lehiste 1972, Klatt 1976). As I said above, according to Smith and Weston (1974a: 14), the evidence for their analysis of “lengthened” vowels comes from the fact that Mian vowels and diphthongs have two varieties, one being about 1½ to 2 times longer than the other one.

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A grammar of Mian, a Papuan language of New Guinea by Olcher Sebastian Fedden.

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