A Phonological Description of Falam
Share this item:
Falam belongs to the Central Chin subgroup of the Kuki-Chin languages which is spoken in the Falam area. The name Falam is not from the name of any language group but from the name of the Falam town in years past. Nowadays the name Falam represents the people and the language of those who live in the Falam area. The main component of this research is a phonological description of Falam. Falam has 31 consonant phonemes and 5 vowel phonemes. Vowel length in closed syllables is contrastive while vowel length in open syllables is predictable. There are eight possible syllable structures. Falam is a tonal language that has four contrastive tones and has tone alternations. Falam has complex morphophonemic alternations. Its verb system has two forms called primary and secondary. Regarding morphophonemic alternations, nasal alternations, stop alternations, and final glottalizations in secondary stems are common. Vowel length never increases in secondary stems. The rising tone never occurs in secondary stems. It can be concluded that some markedness in secondary stems decreases while some markedness in secondary stems stays the same.