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The purpose of this study is to provide a generative and autosegmental phonological analysis of the Zaiwa language with emphasis on prosodic components. This is a preliminary phonology of Zaiwa with a relatively complete treatment of all phonological aspects, concentrating on suprasegmental components. The generative/autosegmental framework employed incorporates feature geometry in a manner that provides a view of the interaction of segmentals and suprasegmentals. In particular, the interaction of voice quality, tone, and consonantal features are presented using feature geometry and underspecification in order to differentiate lexical tone from derived tone.
It is the author’s goal to provide a basis for understanding the processes occurring in Zaiwa phonology and provide helpful insights in understanding similar processes in other Tibeto-Burman languages.
Mark Wannemacher has lived in Southeast Asia for eight years, and his research on the Zaiwa language has been conducted over the past six years with speakers from various dialect areas. His research was the basis for his master’s thesis at the University of Texas at Arlington.
Appendix A: Further Details of Zaiwa Segmental Phonology
Appendix B: Distinctive Feature Charts