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Prefixal vowel length in Lulamogi: A stratal Account

Abstract

Over the past several decades there has been recurrent skeptism concerning cyclic derivations in phonology, one of the most central tenets of traditional generative and lexical phonology and morphology. In this paper I draw on original data from Lulamogi, a previously almost unstudied Bantu language of Uganda, to show that the most insightful analysis of some rather unusual vowel length alternations requires either cyclicity or global reference to internal morphological structure, specifically the difference between stem vs. prefix V + V sequences. After documenting the vowel length properties in some detail I consider several analyses, opting for a stratal account which neatly mirrors the traditional Bantu stem, word, and phrasal domains.

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