What happens when you lick too many rocks: The complexities of Adnyamathanha phonology

What happens when you lick too many rocks: The complexities of Adnyamathanha phonology Report

  • Author(s): McEntee, John, Butcher, Andrew
  • Published: 2021

Abstract: Adnyamathanha is one of the Thura-Yura languages, spoken in the northern Flinders Ranges of South Australia. It has a rather large inventory of consonant sounds, the analysis of which presents some challenges. We show that, in the most recently spoken variety of the language, there is a contrast between two series of obstruents, phonetically voiced and voiceless, in intervocalic position. There are also four phonetically distinct rhotic sounds, two of which we analyse as major allophones of the voiced apical stops. We also analyse a full series of contrastive pre-stopped nasals and a full series of contrastive pre-stopped laterals and we give reasons for preferring this analysis over one of stop + sonorant clusters. We show that there are three contrasting vowel qualities in Adnyamathanha, with no clear evidence to support a fourth, open-front unrounded phoneme. Apparently-contrastive long vowels can almost all be analysed as V+V sequences separated either by glides or morpheme boundaries. The phonetically long vowels resulting from the latter case do not appear to be stressed, although the increased duration may give this impression to English ears. We conclude, however, that a ‘once-a-phoneme-always-a-phoneme’ approach does not provide a satisfactory account of Adnyamathanha phonology. It is more helpful to recognise that, between the robust phonemic contrasts and the clearly marginal sounds, there may be a ‘cline of contrast’ with a number of intermediate phonological relationships.

Cite this document

Suggested Citation
McEntee, John, Butcher, Andrew, 2021, What happens when you lick too many rocks: The complexities of Adnyamathanha phonology, Report, viewed 13 June 2024, https://www.nintione.com.au/?p=24549.

Endnote Mendeley Zotero Export Google Scholar

Share this page

Search again