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Diachronic Typology of Philippine Vowel Systems

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Title: Diachronic Typology of Philippine Vowel Systems
Authors: Reid, Lawrence A.
LC Subject Headings: Austronesian languages
Proto-Austronesian language
Philippine languages
Issue Date: 1973
Citation: Reid, Lawrence A. "Diachronic typology of Philippine vowel systems." Current Trends in Linguistics 11 (1973): 485-505.
Series/Report no.: Current Trends in Linguistics
Abstract: It has been fairly well established (Dempwolff 1934, 1937, 1939]) that Proto- Austronesian (PAN) had a four-vowel system, usually symbolized by *i, *e, *a, and *u. It is also fairly evident that the daughter language from which the Philippine languages developed also had a four-vowel system. This daughter language will be called Proto-Philippines (PPH) throughout this paper. The PPH vowel system will be symbolized as *i, *ɨ, *a, and *u, since whatever the phonological shape of PAN *e was, it is probable that in PPH this vowel had become a mid to high central vowel. The great majority of four-vowel systems that remain in present day Philippine languages show similar systems, having high front and back vowels with two central vowels, one low, the other mid to high. This paper is an attempt to identify the factors which brought about the break-up of the PPH four-vowel system in many languages and produced one known eight-vowel system, three known seven-vowel systems, at least a dozen six-vowel systems, and maybe twenty five-vowel systems. There are at least five languages, moreover, that have reduced the PPH four-vowel system to three vowels.
Pages/Duration: 27 pages
Appears in Collections:Lawrence A. Reid: Articles, Monographs, Book Chapters

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