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BIAK Phonology (SHWNG) Krystel Ballo

June 28, 2010

• is spoken in Biak and Numfor and numerous small islands in the province of Papua (formerly Irian Jaya), Indonesia • classified by Blust (1978, 1993) as a member of the SHWNG subgroup of Eastern Malayo-Polynesian languages. • Alternative names are Biak-Numfor, Noefoor, Mafoor, Mefoor, Nufoor, Mafoorsch, Myfoorsch and Noefoorsch. • It is spoken by about 70, 000 people (2003) (van den Heuvel: 2006: 1) Consonants Bilabial Stop Voiced Voicele ss Nasal Fricative Voiced Voicele ss Lateral Trill Approxima nt w (w) b (b) p (p) m (m) β (v) f (f) s (s) l (l) r (r) j (y) (van den Heuvel: 2006: 21) Vowels +front, -back i/í e/é a/á (van den Heuvel: 2006: 26) Dsitribution and Realizations: • /k/ [g] / nasal_ [k] / elsewhere • the /t/ is very infrequent -front, -back -front, +back u/ú o/ó Labiodental Alveolar d (d) t (t) n (n) k (k) Palatal Velar

+high, -low -high, -low -high, +low

o o

some older people still realize /t/ in loanwords as [s]. PAN *t and Biak k is Blust (2004)   Biak kans 'weep' is related to PAN *tangis Biak kyor 'three' is related to PAN *telu,

• • •

Most consonants are attested in word-initial, word-medial and word-final position. The only exceptions are the consonants /b/, /d/ and /y/, which are not found in codas. /n/ [ŋ] / _k [m]/ _ p, b, β [n] / _elsewhere  /β/ [b] / nasals_ [β]/ elsewhere  /r/ [ɾ] / fast speech [d]/ r_ [r]/ elsewhere A sequence of a /n/ and /r/ is realized as [ndr], while /mr/ is realized as [mbr]. ___________ Minimal pairs illustrating contrast between long and short vowels: • mas 'dance' vs. más 'clever' • mam 'chew‘ vs. mám 'see' • kor 'count' vs. kór 'cut' • kris 'type of tree' vs. krís 'roll' • sun 'enter' vs. sún 'flood' Intonational phrase (I): clusters, epenthesis, long vowels • can be defined as a unit preceded and followed by a pause. • at the end of I: – all words ending in CC have an epenthetic [e] in I-final position and the final [e] is stressed – words ending in a long vowel (accented) + C • They have a final e when uttered in I-final position, but end in a consonant when uttered in other positions. Phonotactics • Syllables structure : (C)(C)V(V)(C)(C) • the minimal syllable is simply V, as in the 3SG pronoun i. The maximum rhyme is VVC, VlongC, or VCC. Clusters • Obstruent-initial - (br, pd, ps, pn, pr, py, dw, dy, kb, kp, km, kn, kr, kw, ky, fm, fn) • Nasal-initial - (mk, mn, my, mr, nk, ny) • Liquid-or r-initial - (rm, rw) • Obstruent-final - (pk, fk, vk, mk, nk, rk, wk, rp, kf, sf, nf, rf, kv, rv, ps, vs, ms, ns, rs, ws) • Nasal-final - (pn, km, kn, sm, sn, vn, fn, nm, rm, rn, mn, wn) • r-final - (pr, kr, fr, sr, vr, wr) Vowel Sequences • vowel sequences are extremely rare. • The only other vowel sequences attested are ae and ea:


word final

C_C Stress  One sequence of vowels  3 or more syllables antepenultimate Three syllables CVCVCV CVCVCVC Four syllables (4 items, loans) Five syllables CVCVCVCV prefinal final prefinal prefinal final CVCVCCVCVCV second from left

Summarizing, we have seen the following: 1) Biak has long and short vowels. 2) Long vowels are usually accented, i.e. prominent in terms of length and pitch than short vowels 3) For a word uttered in isolation, short vowels have primary accent iff - they are the nucleus of the second syllable from the left and - the word does not contain a syllable containing a long vowel 4) If a word ends in a cluster, the epenthetic e in final position has primary stress in Ifinal position, unless the word contains a long vowel, in which case primary stress is on the long vowel. Problems • it has been very difficult to obtain reliable data on the stress pattern of reduplicated words. – difference in stress can bring about a marginal meaning difference e.g surakrok [surak'rok] 'they make noise‘ surákrok [su'rákrok] 'they are angry with each other‘

Source: Online Publication: van den Heuvel, W. (2006). Biak: Description of an Austronesian Language of Papua. Netherlands: LOT. Retrieved June 24, 2010, from LOT Publications: