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SIL Electronic Working Papers 1996-003

Epenthetic ‘-mi’ in Ndyuka: a transitive marker?

Author  Huttar, George L.
Abstract 

In the creole languages of Suriname, epenthetic -m(i) is obligatorily inserted between certain verbs and certain objects. Phonological and syntactic features of both verb and object enter into the definition of the environments in which such epenthesis occurs, with different sets of features required for the different languages. The paper gives most attention to Ndyuka, where epenthesis occurs after monosyllabic verbs ending in a high tone and followed by direct objects or copula complements beginning with a vowel-initial monosyllabic morpheme. The parallel epenthesis in Sranan is also described in some detail, epenthesis here depending not on tone but on nasality of the verb-final vowel. Saramaccan, Matawai, Paramaccan, Aluku, and Kwinti, though treated briefly, provide additional comparative data relevant to conjectures regarding the origins and development of these processes.

  Epenthetic ‘-mi’ in Ndyuka: a transitive marker?
Published  1996
Language  Aukan [djk]
Country  Suriname
Subject  Epenthesis
Keywords  creole; phonology; Epenthesis