By McWhorter, John; Good, Jeff
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Extra resources for A Grammar of Saramaccan Creole
Some minimal pairs and near minimal pairs for a with similar vowels include: hángi ‘hunger’ vs. hѓ̗ngi ‘hang’ and fiá ‘argue’ vs. fiѓ̗ ‘burn’; and kálu ‘corn’ vs. kэ̗lu ‘guilder’ and ba ‘carry (water)’ vs. ’ The vowel u Saramaccan u has a realization that can be reasonably characterized as IPA [u], though sometimes at the end of words it was observed to be perceptually close to [o], at least to the ears of a native English speaker, suggesting a possible lowering rule. Some minimal pairs and near minimal pairs for u with similar vowels include: búnu ‘good’ vs.
4. for discussion of sporadic phonological alternations, in which some ideophones participate. 3. Lexical strata A noteworthy feature of the Saramaccan lexicon which we will not explore in detail here, but which is worth pointing out at least briefly, is the apparent “layering” of different strata of vocabulary. Historically speaking, some of these strata are no doubt the result of Saramaccan’s origins as a contact language and its acquisition of vocabulary from a range of source languages: English, Portuguese, Gbe languages, western Bantu languages, Dutch, Sranan, Amerindian languages, etc.
Niingá ‘refuse’ e/ee hébi ‘heavy’ vs. heépi ‘help’; péni ‘enclosure’ vs. peéni ‘plane (wood)’ ѓ/ѓѓ bѓ ‘red’ vs. bѓѓ ‘very red’; kѓ̗ ‘want’ vs. kѓѓ̗ ‘cry’ a/aa paká ‘pay’ vs. pakáa ‘dowry’ vs. paaká ‘bird type’ u/uu búku ‘book’ vs. buúku ‘pants’; pú ‘pool’ vs. púu ‘pull’ o/oo kókóo ‘shell’ vs. kóóko ‘yellow’; sópu ‘soap’ vs. soópu ‘swell’ э/ээ hэnғ i ‘bee’ vs. hээní ‘bird type’; tэ̗tэ ‘push’ vs. tээ̗tэ ‘crooked’ A general analytical issue involving long vowels in Saramaccan is whether they should be treated phonologically as adjacent single vowels which happen to be of the same quality, or as true long vowels.