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Chapter Summary

The description of Ket phonology begins with its system of suprasegmental oppositions, since the segmental allophony of both vowels and consonants is greatly influenced by the tonal system of the language. Most descriptions of Ket, including the young Ket orthography devised by Werner in the late 1980s recognize these phones as phonemes. As with the vowels, earlier treatments of Ket often assign phoneme status to considerably more units. Ket knows two kinds of prefixes or prefix-like clitics: with nouns (including the semi-nominal inflection of conjugation-V-verbs) possessive (pro-) clitics occur. The vowels occur freely in all positions of mono- and disyllabic roots, and with all tones. In syllable-final position, consonant clusters are rare; however, the productive nominalizing suffix -s produces clusters with root-final consonants. The very productive noun-compounding technique of Ket produces many different word-medial consonant clusters.

Keywords: consonant clusters; Ket phonology; vowels; young Ket orthography



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