n Language Matters : Studies in the Languages of Southern Africa - Linking feature geometry and aperture theory : a strategy to explain the complex cases of the Xitsonga nasal place assimilation

Volume 36, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0256-5986



This article analyses the complex cases of Xitsonga (Tsonga) nasal place assimilation. It places particular emphasis on the direction of the assimilation process in relation to Xitsonga nasal place assimilation, using Feature Geometry Theory (FG-Theory) as proposed by Clements (1985) and Sagey (1986). This theory is linked with the Aperture Theory (A-Theory) proposed by Steriade (1993). The analysis is based on theories advanced by the prominent Xitsonga scholars Baumbach (1974; 1987), Marivate et al. (1994) and Mathumba (1993). It outlines the practical applications that are in contrast with these theories. This analysis shows that there is neither progressive assimilation nor reciprocal assimilation involved in those complex cases.

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