SIL Electronic Working Papers
SILEWP 2001-003

Authors: Perry Oakes
Title: A Description of Teribe Phonology
Keywords: Stress patterns, Syllable patterns, Deletions, Derivations, Vocoid epenthesis, Phonemic contrasts, Vowel laxing, Distribution of allophones, Contoids, Vocoids, Nasalization
This is a theory-neutral description of the phonology of Teribe, a Chibchan language spoken in northwest Panama. As of 1998 Teribe had almost completed the process of moving from a tonal to a stress system language, so that vestiges of tone occur in certain areas of the phonology to disrupt the stress system. Teribe contains a prelabialized retroflexed lateral flap phoneme which is quite rare, if not unknown, among the other languages of the world. Nasality is also quite interesting, as it remains after the deletion of a nasal segmental phoneme in verb morphology, attaching itself to whatever segment comes to fill the vacant slot.
Paper: PDF (2.5 MB)