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By Wayne A. Lunsford

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This is an areal feature found in several other Indo-Aryan languages. Words like ‘girl’, ‘daughter’, ‘mother’ and ‘female cat’ are all biologically feminine, so their grammatical gender is also feminine. The adjectives and verbs associated with these words in any given sentence are marked accordingly so as to agree in gender with them. See example (55) above. The same is true for the inherently masculine words ‘man’, ‘son’ and ‘male horse’. 1 shows a sampling of data to illustrate the point. 1.

Aside from these two words, I have not documented any other words with [i] occurring within a closed syllable so generally speaking, this hypothesis holds true. I should also add that this uncertainty is associated only with /i/, not /e/. The rule stated previously is an accurate description of what happens with /e/ in normal speech without exception. Some examples are listed in (12). 30 12) /netkHel/ /ek/ /nek/ /}en/ [nE~tkHEl0] [Ek] [n~Ek] [}E~n0] ‘small nose’ ‘one’ ‘boss’ ‘small bed’ Another piece of information that confirms this conclusion is when the word /ek/ is used in a phrase or in a sentence, it is often pronounced without the final /k/.

Their underlying forms are /boKo/, /QKgFr/ and /nQ/ respectively. 28. 28. 1 Inventory of syllable types Example (13) shows the syllable structures found in the language: 13) V VC CV CVC /o}o/ /ek/ /pu}u/ /pox/ [o}o] [Ek] [pu}u] [pox] ‘ugly’ ‘one’ ‘flower’ ‘strong, devout’ Simply stated the phonemic syllable structure is (C)V(C) which means that a vowel is required, but consonants are not. Consonants can occur in the initial position of the syllable or in the final position. Consonant clusters exist across syllable boundaries, but not within any given syllable.

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