The relationship between the syllable structure and the phonological vowel processes in Kinyarwanda
Macharia, Joshua M
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This study is an investigation into the relationship between the syllable structure and the phonological vowel processes in Kinyarwanda. It is cast within the theoretical framework of Natural Generative Phonology (NGP) whose principles aim at constraining phonological rules and representations of a language in order to limit abstractness in phonological analyses. It analyzes the extent to which the phonotactic constraints of the syllable motivate the phonological vowel processes in Kinyarwanda. That is, how the phonological vowel processes are used to prevent unacceptable sound sequences from surfacing in the utterances of Kinyarwanda. It therefore involves investigating the underlying and the surface representations of Kinyarwanda words. phrases and sentences as well as comparing Kinyarwanda loanwords with their original words in order to establish the phonological vowel processes which eliminate vowel sequences and consonant clusters. While chapter two presents the phonological system of Kinyarwanda in terms of the phonetic inventory, the Kinyarwanda syllable structure and syllable types. chapter 3 presents the processes of vowel deletion, glide formation. vowel coalescence. semi-vowel epenthesis, and vowel epenthesis in the light of their interaction with the Kinyarwanda syllable structure. Chapter 4 establishes that the motivation for phonological vowel processes in Kinyarwanda is the syllable structure. As such, the phonological vowel processes on their part are mechanisms to preserve the acceptable syllable structure in Kinyarwanda.