Önge leid

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A cairt o tribal an leid divisions in the Andaman Islands prior tae the 1850s

The Onge or Öñge leid ([ˈəŋɡe]; variously spelled Ongee, Eng, or Ung) is a leid spoken bi the Onge fowk in Little Andaman Island. It is ane o twa kent Ongan leids.

Önge uised tae be spoken throughoot Little Andaman as well as in smawer islands tae the north - an possibly in the soothren tip o Sooth Andaman island. Syne the middle o the 19t century, wi the arrival o the Breetish in the Andamans, an, efter Indien independence, the massive inflow o Indien settlers frae the mainland, the nummer o Onge speakers haes steadily declined, awtho a moderate increase haes been observed in recent years.[1] Currently, thare ar anerlie 94 native speakers o Onge[2], confined tae a single dounset in the northeast o Little Andaman island (see cairt ablo), makin it an endangered leid.

Phonology[eedit | eedit soorce]

Vowels[eedit | eedit soorce]

  Front Central Back
High i   u
Mid e ə o
Low   a  

Thare is some vowel harmony: 1p pl. prefix et- becomes [ot-] when the vowel in the next syllable is /u/, e.g. et-eɟale 'oor faces' but ot-oticule 'oor heids'.[3]

Consonants[eedit | eedit soorce]

  Labial Coronal Palatal Velar
Stops b t d c ɟ k ɡ
Nasals   m   n   ɲ   ŋ
Approximants   w   l (/r/)   j  

/ʔ/? (c.f. Blevins (2007:161))

Blevins (2007:160-161) states that /c, ɟ/ ar actually affricates, an that retroflexes mey or mey no be phonemic.

/kʷ/ delabializes tae /k/ afore /u, o/.[3]

Phonemic /d/ surfaces as [r] intervocalically, while arguably some words hae phonemic /r/ which alternates wi surface [r, l, j].[4]

Phonotactics[eedit | eedit soorce]

Words mey be monosyllabic or langer, even in content words (unlik in the closely relatit Jarawa). Words mey begin wi consonants or vowels, an maximal syllables ar o the form CVC. Aw Onge words end in vowels, except for imperatives, e.g. kaʔ 'gie'.

Consonant-final stems in Jarawa aften hae cognates wi final e in Onge, e.g. Jarawa , Onge iŋe 'watter'; Jarawa inen, Onge inene 'foreigner'; Jarawa dag, Onge dage 'coconut'. Heestorically thir vowels must hae been excrescent, as nonetymological wird-final e doesna surface when nummer markers ar suffixed, an the definite airticle (-gi efter etymological consonants, -i efter etymological vowels, due tae lenition) appears as -i efter etymological e but as -gi efter excrescent e, e.g. daŋe > daŋe-gi 'tree; dugoot'; kue > kue-i 'pig'.

NC clusters whiles optionally reduce tae single C, e.g. iɲɟo-/iɟo- 'tae drink' (c.f. Jarawa -iɲɟo).

Voiced obstruents mey optionally nasalize in syllable onset when the coda is nasal, e.g. bone/mone 'resin, resin torch' (c.f. Jarawa pone 'resin, resin torch').

Morphophonemics[eedit | eedit soorce]

Clusters across morpheme boundaries simplify tae homorganic sequences, includin geminates, which mey occur efter wird final -e drops, e.g. daŋe 'tree, dugout canoe' > dandena 'twa canoes'; umuge 'pigeon' > umulle 'pigeons'.[3]

References[eedit | eedit soorce]

  1. The Colonisation of Little Andaman Island, retrieved 23 Juin 2008
  2. Önge language - The Ethnologue
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Blevins (2007:161)
  4. Blevins (2007:161-162)

Bibliography[eedit | eedit soorce]

  • Blevins, Juliette (2007), "A Long Lost Sister of Proto-Austronesian? Proto-Ongan, Mother of Jarawa and Onge of the Andaman Islands", Oceanic Linguistics, 46 (1): 154–198, doi:10.1353/ol.2007.0015

External links[eedit | eedit soorce]

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