Adapted from A Grammar of Diola-Fogny, J. David Sapir. Cambridge: Cambridge
Univerity Press, 1965
p t c k
b d j g
m n ñ η
f s h
(length is phonemic for all vowels)
All consonants are tense in the presence of tense vowels, otherwise they are lax.
- p is a voiceless bilabial stop. It is slightly aspirated when under stress and not in initial
position. In final position and before a pause it is optionally unreleased. Before tense vowels and when not aspirated it has a breathy quality.
- b is a voiced bilabial stop. Before tense vowels it has a breathy quality that is particularly distinct when b is under stress.
- t is a voiceless stop having dental articulation before front high, high-mid and mid vowels and alveolar articulation before all other vowels. It is slightly aspirated when
under stress and not in initial position. In final position and before a pause it is optionally
- d is a voiced stop which, like t, has dental articulation before front vowels and alveolar articulation before all others.
- c is a voiceless pre-palatal stop with a noticeable off-glide before and
on-glide after low vowels (viz. a and o). In final position and before a pause
it is optionally unreleased. A number of speakers, those from Bignona in particular,
do not make a distinction between
- c and k before high front, and sometimes mid front, vowels.
- j is a voiced pre-palatal stop with a noticeable off-glide before and on-glide after low vowels.
- k is an unvoiced velar stop. Before front high and mid-high vowels it has pre-velar articulation with slight palatalization. It has post-velar articulation before back high vowels and post-velar articulation with a slight down-glide before back high-mid and mid vowels. The down-glide is especially n()ticeable when the vowels are long. k may optionally be unreleased in final position before a pause.
- g is a voiced velar stop. Like k it has pre-velar articulation with slight palatalization before high and mid-high vowels; post-velar articulation before back high vowels; and post-velar articulation with a slight down-glide before back high-mid and mid vowels. The down-glide is especially noticeable when the vowels are long.
- m is a voiced bilabial nasal. Its articulation is not influenced by its environment except optionally before a stressed consonant or in final position before a pause. In both situations it is dropped in favour of vowel nasalization.
- n is a voiced alveolar nasal. Like m it elides to form a nasalized vowel before a stressed
consonant and in final position before a pause. It is slightly palatalized before high front
- ñ is a voiced pre-palatal nasal. It follows the same elision pattern as m.
- η is a voiced velar nasal. It follows the same elision pattern as m. The articulation of %eta; is not influenced, as k and g are, by following vowels.
- f is a voiceless labio-dental fricative.
- s is a voiceless alveolar sibilant.
- h is a voiceless glottal fricative. It is only infrequently encountered.1
- l is a voiced alveolar lateral which becomes slightly palatalized before back vowels. In
the rare instances that it precedes t it becomes devoiced.
- r is a voiced alveolar median resonant. In final position before a pause r optionally
elides with the preceding vowel to form a retroflex vowel. When two r's appear in the
same CVC syllable the initial r becomes either a flap or a brief trill.
- w is a rounded labio-velar semivowel. Before front high, high-mid and mid vowels it
becomes a rounded palatal semivowel. Ladefoged (1964:25) considers all (?) expressions
of this phoneme as a 'bilabial or labiodental approximant' .
- y is an unrounded palatal semivowel.
All vowels, including long vowels, are longer when under stress.
- í is a tense high front unrounded vowel.
- i is a lax high front unrounded vowel.
- é is a tense high-mid front unrounded vowel.
- e is a lax mid-front unrounded vowel. Before the pre-palatal consonants, the palatal
semi-vowel y, when in final position, and when long, E is relatively high.
- á under stress is a tense unrounded high-mid central vowel; otherwise it takes a slightly
lower position which is similar to the English schwa.
- a is a lax low central unrounded vowel. Before nasals it is relatively front and slightly
- ó is a tense rounded high-mid back vowel.
- o is a lax rounded low-mid back vowel.
- ú is a tense-rounded high back vowel.
- u is a lax-rounded high back vowel.
VOWEL LENGTH: Length is phonemic for all the vowels.
A technical paper, Acoustic Correlates
of "Big" and "Thin" in Kujamutay, Steven Greenberg & J. David Sapir.
(Proceedings of the 4th Annual Meeting of the Berkley Linguistic Society)
Word list sound files, prepared by the UCLA Phonetics Lab, under the title Jola Fonyi.