Bunama language

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Bunama
Native toPapua New Guinea
RegionMilne Bay Province
Native speakers
(4,000 cited 1993)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3bdd
Glottologbuna1276

Bunama is an Austronesian language spoken in the D'Entrecasteaux Islands of Papua New Guinea.

Phonology[edit]

Consonants[edit]

Labial Dental/
Alveolar
Palatal Velar Glottal
plain lab. plain lab. plain lab.
Plosive vless/asp. p t̪ʰ ʔ ʔʷ
voiced b d ɡ ɡʷ
Fricative s h
Nasal m n
Lateral ɺ
Approximant j w
  • /p/ can fluctuate to aspirated [pʰ] in stressed syllables.
  • /b d ɡ/ can also be heard as [ᵐb ⁿd ᵑɡ] word-initially in stressed syllables.
  • /b/ can be heard as a fricative [β] intervocalically in word-medial position.
  • /d/ can be heard as a tap [ɾ] intervocalically in word-medial position.
  • /s/ can be heard as a more fronted [s̪] in unstressed syllables following vowels /ɛ, a/.
  • Prevoicing of the lateral flap [ ̬ɺ] may also occur in initial positions.
  • /ɺ/ may also be heard as a retroflex flap [ɽ] depending on the dialect of the speaker. It can also be heard as [ ̬ɽ] when realized as prevoiced in word-initial positions.
  • /w/ may fluctuate to a labio-dental [v] among some speakers.
  • /j/ may be realized as a dental approximant [ð̞] when before /a/.

Vowels[edit]

Front Central Back
Close i ʊ
Mid ɛ o
Open a
  • /a/ is heard as [ɒ] before and after a labialized consonant, or with sounds /w/, /ʔ/. It is also heard as [ʌ] word-medially and word-finally in unstressed syllables.
  • /ʊ/ is heard as [ʊ] word-medially and word-finally but never following labialized consonants, or semivowels /w, j/. It is heard as [u] when following sounds /s t̪ʰ/.
  • /o/ can be heard as [ɔ] when preceding a glottal stop /ʔ/.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bunama at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015) (subscription required)
  2. ^ Hughes, Ngaire; Leckie, Isabel (1976). Bunama Phonemics.