A comparative study on Formosan phonology: Paiwan and Budai Rukai
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This study provides a detailed description and analysis of phonology of two Formosan languages and further compares the phonological constraints and prosodic structures in the languages. Formosan languages, nearly half of which have become extinct in the past two centuries, are the aboriginal languages of Taiwan. They belong to the Austronesian language family. Paiwan and Budai Rukai were selected for their geographical distribution and genetic classification. None of the existing field reports bear on both systemic phonetics and phonology of Formosan languages. Accentual patterns from Formosan languages have become essential for the reconstruction of Proto-Austronesian stress. In this study, segmental phonology, phonetic representations of consonants and vowels, sound change, and prosodic structures such as word stress, phrasal stress, word-level pitch accent, and sentence-level intonation of Paiwan and Budai Rukai were documented, analyzed, constructed and compared. The distribution of pitch accent in imperative construction and face-to-face interaction has shown the significance of prosody in Paiwan. Boundary tones are important indices for the syntactic types of sentences in Paiwan. On the other hand, vowel length is phonemic, and syllable weight does affect the assignment of stress in Budai Rukai. The interaction between vowel length at penult and stress patterns in Budai Rukai has provided evidence for the argument of contrastive stress in the Proto-Austronesian language. The dissertation has provided two more indicators in Formosan languages that reflect the contrastive stress in Proto-Austronesian roots: syllable extrametricality in Budai Rukai and final stress subject to schwa penult in Central Paiwan. The documentation of prosodic patterns has become a prerequisite for the preservation of ancestral accent of the indigenous languages. Historical reconstruction of cognates and synchronic phonological features have provided evidence for the proposal that the innovations shared by Paiwan and Budai Rukai are due to recent contact.