LSIEL 25: A Phonology of Southern Luri

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A Phonology of Southern Luri

Eric John Anonby
Leiden University / Canada Institute of Linguistics

Southern Luri, an Indo-European language in the Southwestern Group of Iranian languages, counts almost one million speakers.  Still, while brief linguistic sketches have been written in Farsi, the existence of Southern Luri as a distinct language group has until recently been unknown to Western scholarship.  In a recent comparative work, ‘Update on Luri: How Many Languages?’ (2003), Anonby established the existence of three separate languages in the Luri continuum: Lurist?ni, Bakhti?ri and Southern Luri.

In the present study, the author provides a window into the phonological system of Southern Luri.  Although closely related to both Bakhti?ri and Farsi, the language is nonetheless distinguished by a number of particular - and at times striking - phonological characteristics.  The vowel system is marked by a rich inventory of diphthongs, several of which exhibit historical /h/ as a lengthening element.  Among the numerous phonological processes, pervasive short vowel reduction and a series of consonant softenings are most prominent.  Rigorous restrictions in the composition of syllables drive most of the morphophonemic processes.  The study addresses the impact of borrowing on the language and concludes with a précis on speech style, stress and intonation processes.

Erik John Anonby is a researcher in Linguistics at Leiden University and instructor at the Canada Institute of Linguistics.  Previous to his work on Iranian languages, he conducted research in Chad, Africa.  His explorations have focussed on topics as diverse as phonological analysis, dialectology, translation theory and ethnoornithology.  In addition to comparative work on the Luri languages, he has published poetry and numerous articles as well as the longer works B?hendayal: Bird Classification in Luri (forthcoming), A Sociolinguistic Survey of the Zaghawa (Beria) of Chad and Sudan (2000) and An Analysis of Name-transference in LXX Isaiah 1-12 (1997).

ISBN 9783895867231. LINCOM Studies in Indo-European Linguistics 25. 150pp. 2003.

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