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Variable realization of -ɪa infinitival in B...

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Variable realization of -ɪa infinitival in B...

Variable realization of -ɪa infinitival in Bangla: A study in morphophonemics

Author Name : Shyamal Das


This paper offers a comparative picture of the prosodic behaviours of the infinitive verbal inflective -ɪa in three dialects of Bangla: Noakhali Bangla and Tripura Bangla as spoken in Tripura, and SCB or the standard Bangla. While the other two infinitival suffixes -ɪt̪e and -ɪle have clearly V.CV shape -ɪa is argued to have a V.V shape underlyingly as against V.CV.  All the suffixes undergo various changes in their affixed state because of the varying treatment meted out to their initial high vowel. The discrete prosodic requirements of the three dialects interacting with the common (universal) needs determine the ultimate surface realizations of the three inflectives. The case of -ɪ.a is unique: it has no underlying onset consonant in the second syllable. The consonant j emerges to fulfil the universal need for an onset in a medial syllable beginning with a vowel. The features of the consonant are dictated by the phonetic fact of adjacency of two vowels with features of [+High] and [-High] across syllable boundary namely ɪ and a.

Key words: infinitival, suffixation, diphthong, onset,