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Bookmark and Share Paper 2959

On the Role of Prosodic Structure in French Loanword Incorporation into Bambara
Christopher R. Green
90-105 (complete paper or proceedings contents)


Longstanding contact and the official status of French in Mali have resulted in a sizeable number of French loanwords incorporated into the Bambara (Bamana) lexicon. Because the phonotactics of French syllables are more complex than those permitted in the maximal CV template of native Bambara words, borrowed words are almost always adapted structurally in some way upon incorporation. The findings in this paper suggest that patterns of syllable repair and vowel epenthesis observed in French loanword incorporation into Bambara are best described with reference to the prosodic structures of both languages. That is, the location of input French stress and characteristics of Bambara prosodic feet play important roles in loanword incorporation. Furthermore, it is shown that the types of consonants found in syllable onsets of a foot and the lexically-specified vowels located within a foot are key components in predicting observed outcomes of repair by epenthesis.

Published in

Selected Proceedings of the 43rd Annual Conference on African Linguistics: Linguistic Interfaces in African Languages
edited by lanik la Orie and Karen W. Sanders
Table of contents
Printed edition: $320.00