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The Phonology of Words With Monosyllabic Stems in Malay

The Phonology of Words With Monosyllabic Stems in Malay

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Published by e-BANGI
e-Bangi, e-Bangi Journal
e-Bangi, e-Bangi Journal

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Published by: e-BANGI on Apr 18, 2011
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THE PHONOLOGY OF WORDS WITH MONOSYLLABICSTEMS IN MALAYFONOLOGI PERKATAAN YANG BERKATA AKAR SATU SUKU KATADALAM BAHASA MELAYU
Zaharani Ahmad & Nor Hashimah Jalaluddin
Abstract
It is generally observed that when monosyllabic stems undergo the process of affixation withverbal prefixes /m
N-/ and /di-/ in Malay, two phonological alternations surface in the outputforms, namely vowel lengthening (i.e. /di-pam/ 
[di
 pam] „to pump (passive)‟), and schwa
epenthesis (i.e. /m
N-pam/ 
[m

 pam] „to pump
 
(active)‟). Unlike the later, the former 
has not been well examined and accounted for in the previous studies, and therefore theanalyses missed some important generalizations about the phonology of the so-calledmonosyllabic stems in Malay. Previous studies suggested that the so-called monosyllabicstems are lexically disyllabic with an initial empty V-slot at the CV tier. This representationis in agreement with the basic prosodic structure of the words in the language which isnormally disyllabic. This empty V-slot triggers the application of vowel lengthening andschwa epenthesis rules, and simultaneously blocks the application of visibly active rules suchas nasal assimilation, nasal deletion and nasal substitution. However, based on additionaldata generated from DBP corpus, it is apparent that there are monosyllabic stems that do notundergo schwa epenthesis as predicted by the rule (i.e. /m
N-gam/ 
[m

gam] „to glue‟.
This demonstrates that the previous analysis is inadequate and over generalized. The presentstudy concurs that the so-called monosyllabic stems are lexically disyllabic but with an initialempty mora. In the process of syllabification, the empty mora in the rhyme can be linkedeither with a preceding vowel, an epenthetic schwa or a homorganic nasal.Keywords: monosyllabic, mora, schwa epenthesis, syllabification, vowel lengthening
Abstrak
Dalam bahasa Melayu, apabila kata akar yang bersuku kata satu menjalani prosespengimbuhan dengan awalan kata kerja /m
N-/ dan /di-/, secara umumnya dua alternasifonologi didapati muncul pada bentuk output di peringkat permukaan, iaitu pemanjanganvokal (i.e. /di-pam/ 
[di
 pam] „dipam (pasif)‟), dan penyisipan vokal (i.e. /m
N-pam/ 
 [m

 pam] „mengepam (aktif)‟).
Berbeza dengan fenomena yang kedua, fenomena pertamaitu tidak pernah diteliti dan dijelaskan dalam kajian-kajian lepas, justeru analisis yangdikemukakan gagal memberikan satu generalisasi yang menyeluruh tentang perilaku fonologikata akar yang bersuku kata satu dalam bahasa Melayu. Kajian lepas menyatakan bahawakata akar yang bersuku kata satu itu adalah bersuku kata dua di peringkat representasileksikalnya, iaitu wujudnya gatra V kosong di tingkat KV. Representasi ini bertepatan denganstruktur prosodi kata dasar bahasa Melayu yang umumnya bersuku kata dua. Gatra V
ISBN: 1823-884x
63
JILID 6, BILANGAN 1, 63-76, 2011.
 
 kosong ini mendorong pelaksanaan rumus pemanjangan vokal dan penyisipan vokal, danpada masa yang sama menghalang pelaksanaan rumus asimilasi nasal, pengguguran nasal danpenggantian nasal. Namun, berdasarkan data tambahan yang dijana daripada data korpusDBP, terdapat kata akar yang bersuku kata satu yang tidak menjalani rumus penyisipan vokalseperti yang dijangkakan (i.e. /m
N-gam/ 
[m

gam] „
menggam
). Ini menunjukkanbahawa analisis lampau tidak berpada dan telah membuat satu generalisasi yang berlebihan.Kajian ini sebaliknya mendakwa bahawa kata akar yang bersuku kata satu itu adalah bersukukata dua dengan wujudnya mora kosong di peringkat leksikalnya. Dalam proses penyukuankata, mora kosong di posisi rima ini boleh dihubungkan sama ada dengan bunyi vokalsebelumnya, vokal schwa ataupun konsonan nasal yang homorgan.Kata kunci: suku kata tunggal, mora, epentesis schwa, penyukuan kata, pemanjangan vokal
INTRODUCTION
Affixation is one of the most productive word formation processes in Malay. The affixes areclassified into four main types, namely prefixation, suffixation, infixation and circumfixation.Among the affixes, the active verb forming prefix /m

-/ and the passive verb forming prefix /di-/ are the most productive one, and they can be concatenated with verbal, nominal andadjectival stems.In the phonological domain, the concatenations of prefix /m

-/ and /di-/ with allcategories of stems trigger different types of rules depending on these two phonologicalfacts: (i) the syllable structure of the stems, either polysyllabic or monosyllabic, and (ii) theinitial segments of the stems. The phonology of /m

-/ regulates four types of regular rules,namely nasal assimilation, nasal substitution, nasal deletion and schwa epenthesis, whereasthe phonology of /di-/ involves glottal insertion and vowel lengthening.
STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
It has been generally accepted that the prefix /m

-/ surfaces in the output as [m
], [m
m],[m
n], [m

], [m

], and [m

] which are in complementary distribution andphonologically conditioned (Farid 1980, Yeoh 1988, Teoh 1994, Nik Safiah et.al 1989,Asmah 1986). Their distribution is determined by two phonological facts
 – 
(i) the syllablestructure of the stems, and (ii) the initial consonant of the stems. Except for [m

], all thealternants occur with polysyllabic stems, and the occurrence of each form is conditioned bythe initial consonant of the stems. As claimed by many grammarians, the alternant [m

]only occurs with monosyllabic stems (Yeoh 1988, Teoh 1994, Nik Safiah et.al 1989, Asmah1986). This claim seems to be superfluous because based on the data generated from the DBPcorpus there are monosyllabic stems that occur with [m

]. In certain cases both variants areused interchangeably as free variations. This phonological phenomenon has not beenadequately accounted for in the previous works.In the case of prefix /di-/, it surfaces in three different forms, namely [di], [di
] and[di
] which are also phonologically conditioned. Their distribution is determined by thesimilar phonological facts that is (i) the syllable structure of the stems, and (ii) the initialsegment of the stems. Unlike the latter, the former has not been well examined and accounted
64
 
 
 for in the previous work. Thus, this paper attempts to offer an account to solve these twophonological issues.
PREFIXATION OF /m

-/ AND /di-/ WITH DISYLLABIC STEMS
As mentioned, the prefix /m

 / has five variants and the prefix /di-/ has three in which theiroccurrences are phonologically governed. The concatenation of /m

-/ with polysyllabicstems
 
triggers the application of three general phonological rules in the language, namelynasal assimilation, nasal substitution, and nasal deletion, and the prefixation with /di-/ produces a glottal insertion rule. To begin with, let us examine the examples listed below.1. Prefixation of /m

-/ and /di-/ with polysyllabic stemsAInput Active form Passive form Glos /basuh/ [m
m.ba.soh][di.ba.soh]
„to wash‟
  /dapat/ [m
n.da.pat][di.da.pat]
„to get‟
  /gali/ [m

.ga.li][di.ga.li]
„to dig‟
  /p
lawa/ [m
m.p
.la.w
] [di.p
.la.w
]
„to invite‟
  /t
rnak/ [m
n.t
r.na
] [di.t
r.na
]
„to rear‟
  /kad
i/ [m

.ka.d
i] [di.ka.d
i]
„to study‟
  /hala
 / [m

.ha.la
] [di.ha.la
]
„to prevent‟
 B /pakai/ [m
.ma.kaj][di.pa.kaj]
‟to wear‟
  /ta
kap/ [m
.na
.kap] [di.ta
.kap]
‟to catch‟
  /kat
au/ [m
.
a.t
aw] [di.ka.t
aw]
‟to disturb‟
  /soko
 / [m
.
 
o.ko
] [di.so.ko
]
‟to support‟
 C. /masak/ [m
.ma.sa
] [di.ma.sa
]
‟to cook‟
  /nanti/ [m
.nan.ti][di.nan.ti]
„to wait‟
  / 
 
a
 
i+kan/ [m
.
 
a.
 
i.kan] [di.
 
a.
 
i.kan]
„to sing‟
  / 

ri+kan/ [m
.

.ri.kan] [di.

.ri.kan]
„to terrify‟
  /lompat/ [m
.lom.pat][di.lom.pat]
„to jump‟
  /rompak/ [m
.rom.pa
] [di.rom.pa
]
„to rob‟
65
 

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