By McWhorter, John; Good, Jeff
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Extra info for A Grammar of Saramaccan Creole
2. for additional discussion), with some examples being ómi/wómi ‘man’ and wójo/ójo ‘eye’ (the order within each pair lists the form of the main entry for this word in Rountree, Asodanoe, and Glock 2000 first). As with the je/e alternation, this alternation cannot be considered purely phonological since there are a few words invariably beginning with wo that do not have a variant beginning with o. One of these is woóko ‘work,’ and another is wówa ‘yawn’ which has a variant form hóha but no variant *ówa.
However, it is important to point out that the generalization only appears to go one way since there are a handful of words beginning with e which are not associated with variants beginning with je. ’ Finally, in the transcription used here, as well as in commonly employed orthographic systems for Saramaccan, j is not only used to represent a glide but also is part of the digraphs dj, nj, and tj, as well as the trigraph ndj, each representing a palatal consonant of a different manner of articulation.
This sound is written as hw both here and in other sources. Words where it has been reported as being found include ahwámãғǊ ‘shoulder’ (which also has a variant form ahэ˾mãғǊ) and hwѓ̗nэ ‘bird type’ (which also has a variant form hѓ̗nэ). No minimal pairs for hw and w have been found in sources reporting it. However, the element ahwá in the word ahwámãғǊ, which does not stand on its own but is partially analyzable by virtue of the fact that mãғǊ means ‘hand,’ could form a very near minimal pair with awáa ‘at last’ in a speaker whose variety makes the distinction.