Vowel Fission in Jaqaru

Rachel Walker


“Epenthetic” vowels in loanwords in Jaqaru harmonize with a suffix ([axusí-ni] ‘garlic (poss.)’ < ajos) and otherwise a root vowel ([áxusu]). In four-syllable words, the second vowel optionally deletes. Here, the “epenthetic” vowel matches the underlying vowel of the root-final syllable: [axsú-ni]. Contracted forms show apparent counterbleeding: harmony in the root precedes deletion. Even so, blocking of harmony with the suffix is not predicted. This paper analyzes “epenthesis” as root-vowel fission driven by a constraint requiring vowel-final roots. Under contraction, suffix-triggered harmony is blocked by existential identity (Struijke 2000). This both obviates counterbleeding and improves on its predictions.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.3765/exabs.v0i0.530