Betaza Zapotec phonology : segmental and suprasegmental features
This report analyzes the phonology of Betaza Zapotec, a language within the linguistic family of the Otomanguean languages of Mesoamerica that is spoken in northern Oaxaca, Mexico. The first part of this report describes the consonants of the language; the second part focuses on the vowel system; and the third section describes the suprasegmentals; tone and stress. I support my claims about the phonological system in Betaza Zapotec using data collected during the Summer of 2008 in San Melchor, Betaza Villa Alta, Oaxaca. I analyze the phonetic properties of the consonants, vowels and tones using spectrograms obtained through Praat, software for phonetic analysis. I consider the fortis/lenis opposition inherent in the consonants rather than using the traditional classification of voiced/voiceless consonants. The tone system in Betaza Zapotec involves four contrastive tones: high, low, falling, and rising. In addition there is a phonetic mid-tone which is a toneme of the high tone.