Crosslinguistic insights on the labial flap

Statement of Responsibility:
Olson, Kenneth S. and John Hajek
Date:
2003
Abstract:
This paper is a crosslinguistic study of the labial flap – an areal feature concentrated in north central Africa, but also attested in southeastern Africa and Indonesia. It is found in three of the four major African language families, but is likely not traceable to the proto-language of these families. Its most common articulation is a voiced labiodental flap with egressive lung air. It is fully incorporated into the phonological system of at least thirteen languages, and there is good evidence for this in an additional nine languages. Consequently, theories of phonological features or phonetic parameters must take it into account. It is most widely attested in the Adamawa-Ubangi branch of Niger-Congo, and this may be its ultimate source as well, supporting Greenberg’s (1959, 1983) hypothesis concerning the source of some African areal features.
Extent:
pages 157-186
Subject:
Typology
Articulatory phonetics
phoneme system
labial flap
ideophone
Articulatory phonetics
areal diffusion
Africa
Adamawa-Ubangi
Field:
Content Language:
Nature of Work: