Contact-induced variation in Tetun Dili phonology

Keywords: Tetun Dili, Portuguese, variation, phonological restructuring

Abstract

The paper analyzes the Portuguese influence on Tetun Dili phonology, which can be can be identified at different levels. The phonemic inventory of Tetun Dili has been enriched via borrowing of several consonantal phonemes, triggering an increase in the number of phonological contrasts. Portuguese influence also accounts for the phonetic realizations of a number of consonantal and vocalic phonemes, with some allophonic rules extended even to words belonging to the native stock. Furthermore, the massive influx of Portuguese loanwords has greatly increased the number of permissible onset clusters, and lexical borrowings from Portuguese have led to the occurrence of antepenultimate stress. Finally, Portuguese influence also accounts for the considerable inter-speaker variation. These contact-induced phenomena are shown to correlate with the following factors: knowledge of Portuguese; the exo-normative vs endo-normative orientation of speakers in the case of Portuguese, i.e. towards European or Brazilian Portuguese vs. the East Timorese variety of Portuguese.

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Author Biography

Andrei A. Avram, University of Bucharest

Department of English

Professor

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Published
2021-01-30
How to Cite
AvramA. A. (2021). Contact-induced variation in Tetun Dili phonology. Acta Linguistica Asiatica, 11(1), 75-98. https://doi.org/10.4312/ala.11.1.75-98
Section
Research Articles