“Phonetic and phonological reconnaissance of the Mai-Ndombe (DRC): case studies into close-quarter sound variation”
発表者：Lorenzo Maselli (Ghent University, BantUGent project)
要旨：The Mai-Ndombe province of the Democratic Republic of Congo, located at the southwestern corner of the Congo basin rainforest and mostly isolated from the outside world, remains, to this day, one of the least well-surveyed areas of the planet in both linguistic and anthropological terms. Still, a variety of languages are spoken there that deserve documentation (most of them are endangered and their areas of distribution have somewhat dwindled over the decades) and description (the relevant literature is still largely unavailable to the international community and seldom conforms to present-day scientific research standards). This is made all the more interesting by the presence of pre-Bantu hunter-gatherer communities in the eastern half of the province. In this talk, I will provide general information about an ongoing doctoral research project based in Flanders, Wallonia, and Congo, which bears on the documentation of the sounds of the Bantu varieties spoken around Lake Mai-Ndombe. I will share some of its preliminary findings and focus on select cases of close-quarter phonetic and phonological variation – from labial-velars and rhotics in Sakata to nasal retroflexes in North Boma, to flapping in Lotwa. I will advocate for more joint efforts in the promotion and dissemination of linguistic knowledge in the area of interest and conclude with a few methodological remarks on phonetic fieldwork in the Congo basin, a region that poses very specific challenges to the researcher.