Original Articles

ON THE IRRELEVANCY OF THE CYCLE TO BANTU PHONOLOGY

DOI: 10.1080/02572117.1983.10586516
Author(s): AlfredD. Mtenje,

Abstract

The paper examines the applicability of the cyclic principle to phonological rules of Chichewa, a Bantu language spoken in East-Central Africa, and the validity of the universality claim of this principle. It is argued that Chichewa segmental phonological rules as well as prosodic rules need not be constrained by the principle of the cycle. These observations are then given wider generality leading to the advancement of the thesis that the phonological components of Bantu languages might not have to be constrained by the cyclic principle. The consequence of the dissolution of the cycle in Bantu phonology leads to a reduction in the qualitative complication of the descriptive machinery of the phonological components of Bantu Languages, a move which considerably simplifies grammatical theory and leaves the burden of proof on those who argue for the incorporation of the cycle as an additional device within grammatical theory.

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