Bantu-Ubangi language contact and the origin of labial-velar stops in Lingombe (Bantu, C41, DRC)
We examine the origin of labial-velar stops in Lingombe, a language from the northern Bantu borderland. Labial-velar stops are uncommon in Bantu. It is generally believed that they were acquired through contact with neighbouring non-Bantu speakers, in casu Ubangi languages. We show that the introduction of labial-velar stops in Lingombe is indeed a contact-induced change, but one which could not happen through superficial contact. It involved advanced bilingualism, whereby Ubangi speakers left a phonological substrate in the Bantu language to which they shifted. Once adopted, these loan phonemes underwent a further language-internal extension to native vocabulary, a process known as ‘hyperadaptation’. Both conventional sound symbolism and the deliberate attempt to differentiate the speech of one’s own social group were important for the further proliferation of labial-velar stops in Lingombe. This type of conscious analogical sound change is at odds with Neogrammarian principles of regular sound change.
Cited by other publications
This list is based on CrossRef data as of 24 december 2019. Please note that it may not be complete. Sources presented here have been supplied by the respective publishers. Any errors therein should be reported to them.