Nasal Substitution in Sarawak Malay Dialect

Sharifah Raihan Syed Jaafar


This study discusses a phonological strategy, i.e. nasal substitution, which is regularly applied to eliminate nasal and voiceless obstruent clusters from emerging in the surface representation. As claimed in previous studies, the clusters are disallowed from emerging in the surface representation. Nasal substitution is therefore applied as a strategy to get rid of those clusters. In this paper, I will present how nasal substitution is applied in the Sarawak Malay dialect by focusing on two morphological environments in which the clusters emerge, i.e. within roots and at prefix junctures. The data obtained from interviews show that nasal and voiceless obstruent clusters are not completely disallowed in the dialect, as nasal substitution is only active at prefix junctures and not within roots. Furthermore, in this dialect, voiced obstruents also undergo nasal substitution. These phenomena are accounted for in this study by proposing CRISP-EDGE [?] and UNIFORMITY-ROOT in the grammar of the Sarawak dialect of Malay.

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Asian Social Science   ISSN 1911-2017 (Print)   ISSN 1911-2025 (Online)    Email: 

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