Chapter 5. The story of *ô in the Cariban Family

Publication Year:
Usage 206
Downloads 182
Abstract Views 24
Mentions 1
Links 1
Repository URL:
Gildea, Spike, Hoff, B.J., Meira, Sérgio
Cariban, Proto-Cariban, reconstruction, comparative, phonology
book chapter description
This paper argues for the reconstruction of an unrounded mid central/back vowel *ô to Proto-Cariban. Recent comparative studies of the Cariban family encounter a consistent correspondence of ə : o : ɨ : e, tentatively reconstructed as *o2 (considering only pronouns; Meira 2002) and *ô (considering only seven languages; Meira & Franchetto 2005). The first empirical contribution of this paper is to expand the comparative database to twenty-one modern and two extinct Cariban languages, where the robustness of the correspondence is confirmed. In ten languages, *ô merges with another vowel, either *o or *ɨ. The second empirical contribution of this paper is to more closely analyze one apparent case of attested change from *ô > o, as seen in cognate forms from Island Carib and dialectal variation in Kari’nja (Carib of Surinam). Kari’nja words borrowed into Island Carib/Garífuna show a split between rounded and unrounded back vowels: rounded back vowels are reflexes of *o and *u, unrounded back vowels reflexes of *ô and *ɨ. Our analysis of Island Carib phonology was originally developed by Douglas Taylor in the 1960s, supplemented with unpublished Garifuna data collected by Taylor in the 1950s.

This book chapter has 1 Wikipedia mention.

Carib language

Carib or Kari'nja is a Cariban language spoken by the Kalina people (Caribs) of South America. It is spoken by around 7,400 people mostly in Venezuela, Trinidad and TobagoAlain Fabre, Diccionario etnolingüístico y guía bibliográfica de los pueblos indígenas sudamericanos. ARAW...

Read full Article