Article

Some issues regarding the standardisation of the terminative vowel in Xitsonga

Published in: South African Journal of African Languages
Volume 37, issue 2, 2017, pages: 187–194
DOI: 10.1080/02572117.2017.1378271
Author(s): XE MabasoDepartment of African Languages,

Abstract

Xitsonga recognises only five orthographic vowels (a, e, i, o, u) which serve as terminative vowels in its consonant-vowel (CV) syllable structure. While there is general consensus about the choice of terminative vowel for most words in this language, there are still many instances that are characterised by uncertainties and for which no standard forms have yet been established. In this article, the author endeavours to investigate the various instances of such non-standard forms, establish their causes and suggest possible standardisation strategies. A data analysis method is used which entails a detailed and systematic examination of the contents of this particular body of material for the purpose of identifying patterns or biases. The data analysis is performed largely on dictionary lexical entries as they are supposed to represent the standard form of the Xitsonga language.

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