A New Approach to the Reconstitution of the Pronunciation of Timote-Cuica (Venezuelan Andes) (vol. 6, no. 1, pp. 31-50)

Cadernos de Etnolingüística
volume 6, número 1, verão/ano, p. 31-50

A New Approach to the Reconstitution of the Pronunciation of Timote-Cuica (Venezuelan Andes)

Matthias Urban

This article concerns the extinct and poorly described native speech of the Venezuelan Andes conven- tionally known as Timote-Cuica, in particular its phonetics and phonology. While the available pre-phonemic and unsystematically transcribed corpus of data (consisting of about 900 words and 300 phrases and sentences) has already been analyzed using the method of reconstitution of imperfect data, remarks by the transcribers on the sound of Timote-Cuica have not been taken into account so far. Here, it is shown that these provide valuable clues to the reconstitution of Timote-Cuica pronunciation. In particular, such observations in conjunction with a close analysis of the available data reinforce the idea of the presence of a high central vowel, but also suggest hitherto unrecognized properties, notably the presence of prenasalized stops that likely contrasted with their plain counterparts.

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