9th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association

Brisbane, Australia
September 22-26, 2008

Consonant Enhancement in Lamalama, an Initial-Dropping Language of Cape York Peninsula, North Queensland

Christina Pentland

University of Queensland, Australia

In this paper I describe the consonant system of Lamalama and show that it is an extreme example of an initial dropping language in which consonants are enhanced or strengthened in word-initial position. Initial dropping languages have undergone a series of radical sound changes including - but not limited to - the loss of word-initial consonants. Lamalama has lost entire word-initial syllables with the result that most roots are monosyllabic C(C)V(C) forms. In a reduced phonological system various strategies are used to enhance word-initial consonants and maintain consonantal contrasts.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Pentland, Christina (2008): "Consonant enhancement in Lamalama, an initial-dropping language of Cape York Peninsula, North Queensland", In INTERSPEECH-2008, 95.