Cilungu, a Bantu language spoken in parts of Zambia and Tanzania, exhibits a cross-linguistically unusual phonological process by which a H-toned mora is inserted before a vowel-initial verb stem when it is immediately preceded by an onsetless Subject Marker. I show that in this particular context the language does not employ any of the otherwise productive processes which resolve vowel hiatus, viz. vowel deletion and gliding. I suggest the insertion of a H-toned mora in this one context is motivated at least in part by a principle demanding that a morpheme have some segmental realization.
Selected Proceedings of the 37th Annual Conference on African Linguistics
edited by Doris L. Payne and Jaime Peña
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