An autosegmental analysis of verb paradigms in Yabem

Carol Sherk


Yabem is a Melanesian language spoken in Papua New Guinea. The verbal system in this language has two aspect paradigms, realis and irrealis, which are marked segmentally in the singular forms by different prefixes and which are also marked autosegmentally in all forms by nasalization. Yabem may also be analysed as having an autosegmental feature of tone and voicing which is phonemic but which is used for a certain subclass of verbs to mark the aspect distinction. In this paper an autosegmental analysis of the Yabem verb aspect paradigms is presented and various aspects of autosegmental analyses is discussed, especially as they pertain to the material under consideration.


Yabem; aspect; realis; irrealis; tone; voicing

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