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By G. Tucker Childs

ISBN-10: 3110264978

ISBN-13: 9783110264975

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Several anecdotes from our preliminary investigation (2000) reveal the low status of the language; they are not unrepresentative, as confirmed by the fuller study. In Kigbali (Guinea), the Mani have been denied representation in the local cultural society because of their minority status. Each village has an organi- 6. Pilot study 15 zation that attends to the cultural side of life: dance, singing, handicrafts, and the like. When the Mani speakers (singers) tried to join the Kigbali cultural group and perform in their own language, they were told they could not perform in Mani because, the organizers said, no one would understand them, despite a sizeable population ofMani speakers in the town.

Rarely, however, does the bilabial /m/ disappear, as it did once variably in the second representation of phonemic /warn/ in the first line of (22). In this position only one other nasal is allowed to appear, realized variously as a velar or alveolar nasal, or simply as vowel nasalization. The /nl:/g/ contrast is neutralized here and /p/ is never present, even as a variant. This neutralized nasal was generally absent, as shown by the next three examples, often with compensatory vowel lengthening, as shown by the last two examples.

Challenging these constraints on syllable structure are processes from the morphology and syntax, which operate to disrupt syllable structure. 3. Syllable-structure changes This section discusses ways in which syllable structure changes in strings longer than the syllable. The twin functions of structure preservation (ease of percep- 40 Prosody tion) and ease of articulation interact at one and the same time to produce strings acceptable to both speaker and hearer. The several phonological processes at work in Mani alter the syllabic status of existing segments, and add or delete segments, as presented in (25).

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A Grammar of Mani by G. Tucker Childs

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