Blin, a Central Cushitic (or Agaw) language of Eritrea, displays a complex series of consonant mutations between plural and singular forms, with several unusual properties. This paper describes several such properties, focusing on consonant mutation (or apophony), especially in relation to reduplication, using Correspondence Theory (McCarthy and Prince 1995) within the overall framework of Optimality Theory, drawing on data based on both published sources (e.g., Lamberti and Tonelli 1997) and the author's fieldwork in Eritrea. Floating features associated with the singular suffix dock onto only certain segments which can bear the feature in question, thereby violating rightward alignment. Sometimes there are multiple floating features, creating a complex series of mutations. This paper describes the rare interaction between mutation and reduplication, and provides additional support for Mc Laughlin's (2000) analysis of mutation as the result of featural affixation (Akinlabi 1996, Zoll 1998).
Selected Proceedings of the 35th Annual Conference on African Linguistics: African Languages and Linguistics in Broad Perspectives
edited by John Mugane, John P. Hutchison, and Dee A. Worman
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