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By Frajzyngier, Zygmunt

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In the lexicon tone distinguishes lexical items whose segmental structure is identical: xnä 'slaughter1 and xnä lie down'; sä 'come', sä 'drink*; zä 'eat' and zä 'forget*; tä Object marker* and tä 'locative preposition'. Tone also plays an important role in the coding of the semantic role of arguments, in the reference system and nominal system, in modality coding, in virtually all constructions in the language. All high tones in phrase-final position are lowered, but they do not become as low as low tone.

Consonantal clusters and place of articulation Bilabial Labial Alveolar Velar Bilabial - Labial stop-cont. - Alveolar + + + Velar + + + - Two consonants in a cluster may have different values for the feature voice: snä 'know, hear", 'slaughter1, dzäwä-p-dzäwä 'he sold it'. Three-consonant clusters are allowed in the following configurations: continuant-stop-stop, stop-continuant-stop, stop-stop-stop. All three consonant clusters are allowed only in word-medial position, always representing a combination of different morphemes: Nasal-stop-stop: (26) kd-i-n-kda Tinish-AWAY-3-finish' 'he finished if Continuant-stop-stop: (27) kdä-f-kda särak.

Here are some illustrations of the operation of the rule. The negative existential verb is xädu 'lack, not to be'. When it is followed by its subject beginning with a vowel, the verb loses its final vowel. That vowel is replaced by the first vowel of the following word. 8. ' Vowel replacement and tone retention —» [xäd'-im-u wä] The genitive marker a is realized with low tone as ä if the preceding word ends in a vowel and has low tone: (97) zwän-i-ä kn —> [zwänä kri] child-PL-GEN dog 'children of dog' If a high vowel is not deleted, as is the case with grammatical morphemes, the high vowel becomes a glide, and its tone is also deleted.

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