La longueur vocalique en kinyarwanda : statut linguistique et contraintes orthographiques
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AbstractThe law order of kinyarwanda (1985) prohibits the notation of long vo-wels, on the contrary of the practice in some other Bantu speaking countries in East-Africa. We look at the potential impact of this order in consideration of the abundance of long vowels and the linguistic constraints on its variability and predictability in this language. An approach based on the ability of vowel length recognition by the users is advocated to better assess the risk of confusion when long vowel are not marked in contrast to brief vowels. A highly efficient model is proposed for an economic and non confusing orthography. It is strongly recommended to review the kinyarwanda orthographic system so as to meet new sociolinguistic, educational, technological re-quirements and regional integration of Rwanda. Key words: kinyarwanda, vowel length, orthography.