The relationship between vowel length and a following NC cluster in Luganda and other Bantu languages has received attention from both phonetic and phonological perspectives, however, the data are typically drawn from relatively small corpora. This study provides the results of the first relatively large-scale acoustic investigation of Luganda, using systematically constructed stimuli recorded by 10 native speakers of Luganda in Kampala, Uganda. Our results mostly confirm earlier findings and lend support to claims that the most appropriate analysis for Luganda requires a mismatch between the underlying representation of vowels and following NC clusters and their phonetic manifestation. Underlyingly, such strings consist of a short vowel followed by a moraic nasal coda, with the consonant in the onset of the next syllable (i.e. VN.CV). By contrast, the surface phonetic form contains a long vowel that is claimed to be lengthened in compensation for the nasal's loss of moraic value, although the nature of the nasal is not altogether clear. We also provide measurements of the nasals and consonants in NC clusters and propose that they constitute a unitary pre-nasalized onset segment, as opposed to a consonant cluster in the onset of the syllable following the lengthened vowel (i.e. [CVV.N^CV]).

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