By G. Tucker Childs
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Additional resources for A Grammar of Mani, Edition: Bilingual
The near phonemic status of [f] is likely, then, a relatively recent phenomenon and is complicated by the still extant phonetic process in Mani of palatalization of /s/ before high front vowels. /r/: [r], [r], [l]. Some speakers produced this sound with a notable pharyngeal component (and with rounding, much like the "r" in some American dialects). More commonly, however, one heard a tap or a trill. The trill was 28 Phonemic inventory found fmally, especially when the word was pronounced in isolation.
It is the last two forms that are of interest for they show the replacement of the palatal nasal by the velar nasal with the absence of a following (high front) vowel. Palatal nasals have a tenuous hold on phonemic status; they do not appear in final position and alternate with /hi elsewhere (see the discussion of "rhinoglottophilia" around Table 4, p. 29). The g/p alternation is seen not only in the language name but also in other forms, as shown in (2). The velar nasal in final position alternates with the palatal nasal in medial position before [i], suggesting allophonic variation due to a conditioning environment, although they are alternations before other vowels.
O/: bid 'one' vs. b6l 'head' pul 'ashes' vs. pol 'light' /o/vs. /"/: ko 'to' vs. k~ 'go' t6n 'few' vs. t5n 'bathe' /"/ vs. /a/: c6l 'night' vs. cal 'sit' t6n 'bathe' vs. tan 'rise' Generally speaking, the two highest vowels, front and back, are likely to be confused with each other because of their proximity in the acoustico-perceptual space. 11 Both (/e/ and /o/) are closer than their cardinal counterparts and were often confused with /if and lui. Another source of confusion arises when the (non-low) peripheral vowels are heard before codas filled with sonorants, particularly before nasals.