Ethnosociophonology and consonant lenition in Maxakalí


  • Mário André Coelho da Silva Universidade Estadaual de Campinas
  • Andrew Ira Nevins University College London Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro



This paper aims at describing and explaining the allophony of consonants in coda position in Maxakalí, which varies from a consonantal phonetic realization to a vowel allophone. Prevocalization of consonants is a common linguistic feature, but, interestingly, in Maxakalí almost all consonants undergo lenition, with this variation occurring in the speech of an indiviual speaker. The data was collected in two experiments and analyzed both statistically and phonologically. The main factors that condition the lenition of consonants in coda are: age of speaker, place of articulation of the consonant and position of the segment inside the word and sentence.

Biografia do Autor

Mário André Coelho da Silva, Universidade Estadaual de Campinas

Master's degree student in Linguistics since 2013, at Instituto de Estudos da Linguagem of Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP) under supervision of Professors Maria Filomena Spatti Sândalo and Andrew Ira Nevins, with a scholarship funded by Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (Capes). Graduated in 2012, as a bachelor in Linguistics at Faculdade de Letras of Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais. During undergraduation, he was supervised on his undergraduation research by Professor Thaïs Cristófaro-Silva between 2008 and 2010, with scholarship funded by Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq). His undergraduate dissertation was supervised by Professor Seung-Hwa Lee on 2011. His main research interests are: phonetics, phonology, comparative linguistics and minority languages studies, in special Native American ones.






Fonética e Fonologia de Língua Indígenas