Paul D. Fallon, Associate Professor of Linguistics in the Department of English, Linguistics, and Communication, published his chapter “Coronal ejectives and EthioSemitic borrowing in Proto-Agaw” in the Selected Proceedings of the 44th Annual Conference on African Linguistics, edited by Ruth Kramer, Elizabeth C. Zsiga, & One Tlale Boyer.
Fallon’s paper examines the historical reconstruction of Proto-Agaw (PA, also known as Proto-Central Cushitic), the ancestral mother tongue of the languages Blin, Xamtanga, Kemantney, and Awngi, spoken in Eritrea and Ethiopia. Previous work on Proto-Agaw by David Appleyard claimed that ejective consonants in PA are attributable to borrowings, mostly from neighboring EthioSemitic languages. Expanding his earlier examination of velar (back of tongue) consonants, Fallon argues that coronal (tongue-tip) consonants must also be reconstructed for PA and provides 25 examples of native roots and 19 borrowings, and analyzes 18 other unclear cases. This study contributes to a more precise reconstruction of PA and a deeper understanding of the lexical strata and borrowings between Agaw and EthioSemitic.
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