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SIL Electronic Working Papers 2011-004

The Phonological Segments and Syllabic Structure of Ik

Author  Schrock, Terrill B.
Abstract  The Ik language, spoken in northeast Uganda, is controversially classified as a fringe member of Nilo-Saharan. A more comprehensive description of all levels of the language is needed before the issue of its classification can be resolved. This paper builds on the work of others (e.g. Tucker 1971, Heine 1976, and König 2002) in an attempt to describe the Ik segmental inventory and syllabic structure with an emphasis on phonetic detail. The data come primarily from a list of 1700 Ik words transcribed and analyzed phonologically by the author. In addition to describing the basics of Ik segments and syllables, the paper offers an expanded analysis of Ik velar consonants and the ‘chronolects’ proposed by Heine (1999). The findings are offered as another piece for the puzzle of Rub (Kuliac) classification. [Since this preliminary study was done, the author has documented an additional phoneme, the voiced glottal fricative /3/. Further studies of Ik will include this.]
  The Phonological Segments and Syllabic Structure of Ik
Published  2011
Language  Ik [ikx]
Country  Uganda
Subject  Phonological descriptions
Keywords  Kuliak; Ik; syllable structure; phonology