A reconstruction of Proto-Jê phonology and lexicon
Andrey Nikulin (University of Brasília)
Journal of Language Relationship, № 17/1-2, 2019 - p.93-127
In this work, I examine the sound correspondences between Proto-Cerrado (Nikulin 2017) and Proto-Southern Jê (Jolkesky 2010) and offer a phonological reconstruction of Proto-Jê, the proto-language of the most diverse subgrouping within the Macro-Jê language stock. I reconstruct 11 consonants and 19 vowels for this proto-language. I also claim that */CrVC/ was the maximal syllable structure in Proto-Jê with some further restrictions on its complex onsets (only */pr, mr, kr, ŋr/ were allowed). I reconstruct a shielding allophony pattern to Proto-Jê, according to which nasal onsets would have had post-oralized allophones before oral nuclei. The discussion on Proto-Jê phonology is followed by a sample of Proto-Jê lexicon.
Keywords: Jê languages, Macro-Jê languages, language reconstruction, comparative method