Metrical Dependencies in Tone Assignment

B. M. Sietsema, 1989

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This thesis presents metrical analyses of tone assignment (tone shift, tone insertion tone spread) in four Bantu languages of Tanzania.  A constrained metrical system of rules and parameters (Halle and Vergnaud 1987) is introduced and applied to these languages in order to explain a variety of long-distance tone phenomena.  The metrical analysis reduces these phenomena to a set of local operations within an autosegmental theory of phonology.

Along with the introduction of metrical theory (Chapter One), a theory of tone and morphology for the Bantu languages is sketched out and illustrated by partial analyses of Kimatuumbi and Ci-Ruri (Chapter Two).  Fuller analyses of Digo (Chapter Three) and Sukuma (Chapter Four) follow, building on the theoretical devices which were developed for the analyses of Kimatuumbi and Ci-Ruri.  Metrical structure is shown to play a profound role in the tonology of these languages.

The study concludes by drawing out the theoretical implications of the previous analyses, with particular attention to the typology of tone-accent interactions.

Thesis supervisor:         Morris Halle

Title:                             Institute Professor

Table of Contents

Introduction      Solving a problem like Sukuma                                                 9

Chapter One    The Elements of Metrical Theory                                                           13

            1.0       The goal of the present work                                                                 13

            1.1       Why suspect metrical structure in Bantu?                                               16

                        1.1.1    Reduplication in Yidiny and Manam                                          17

                        1.1.2    Vowel length in Yidiny                                                  21

                        1.1.3    Meta-linguistic considerations                                        24

            1.2       What is metrical structure?                                                                    29

            1.3       The elements of metrical structure                                                          32

                        1.3.1    Metrically significant units                                                          32

                        1.3.2    Directionality or headedness                                                      35

                        1.3.3    Directionality of constituent construction                                    38

                        1.3.4    Foot sizes: binary and unbounded                                              41

                        1.3.5    Extrametricality                                                             43

                        1.3.6    Idiosyncratic head marking                                                        47

                        1.3.7    Cyclicity and stress erasure                                                       54

            1.4       Metrical structure and tone                                                                    61

            1.5       Summary of chapters                                                                            66

Chapter Two    The elements of Bantu tone and morphology                                          68

            2.1       Representing tones in Bantu                                                                  69

            2.2       Bantu morphology                                                                                76

                        2.2.1    Nominals and noun classes                                                        76

                        2.2.2    Verbs, inflected and extended                                                   85

                        2.2.3    The structure of Bantu phrases                                      91

            2.3       Case studies in metrical-tone interaction                                                95

                        2.3.1    Metrical spreading and delinking in Kimatuumbi             95

                           The metrical theory of Pulleyblank 1983                        95

                           Discussion of Pulleyblank 1983                         101

                           A mterical-tonal analysis of Kimatuumbi                        103

                        2.3.2    Attraction and displacement in Ci-Ruri                          114

                        2.3.3    Summary of metrical-tone interactions                           129

Chapter Three  Tones and metrical structure in Digo                                                      130

            3.1       Difficulties for a tonal analusis of Digo                                        131

            3.2       A metrical analysis of Digo                                                                    142

                        3.2.1    Tone and metrical structure in simple nouns and verbs    142

                        3.2.2    Tone and metrical structure in neutralizing verb stems     152

                        3.2.3    Verbs with object markers                                                        159

                        3.2.4    Noun tone patterns and locative phrases                                    165

                        3.2.5    Tone patterns in inflected verbs                                     176

                           Inflected verbs with one H tone                         177

                           Inflected verbs with two H tones                                   182

                                                High-toned verbs with high-toned

                                                                        inflections                                             182

                                                Monosyllabic verbs with high-toned

                                                                        inflections                                             187

                                                Verbs in the "A- past tense                   195

                           Imperatives                                                                   200

                        3.2.6    Verb phrases containing noun phrases                           210

                           Phrases with no surface H tones                                    211

                           Phrases with one surface H tone                                    212

                           Phrases with multiple surface H tones                223

            3.3       Summary and discussion                                                                       233

Appendix:         High tone doubling or high tone split?                                        236

Chapter Four    Tone and metrical structure in Sukuma                                      240

            4.1       An overview of Sukuma tonology                                                          241

            4.2       Metrical structure in verbs                                                                     248

            4.3       Tone fusion                                                                                           255

            4.4       Metrical structure and tone in nouns and adjectives                                261

                        4.4.1    Underived nouns and adjectives                                                261

                        4.4.2    Deverbal nouns                                                             270

                        4.4.3    Tone in concord elements                                                         275

            4.5       Phrase-final tone phenomena                                                                 285

            4.6       Inalterable tones in Sukuma nouns                                                         295

            4.7       Other inalterable tones                                                              315

            4.8       The status of tone-bearing consonants                                       321

            4.9       Spread/delink vs. displace                                                                     328

Chapter Five    Futher theoretical considerations                                                           332

            5.1       The rule-drive nature of tonology                                                           332

            5.2       Tone linkage to the segmental tier                                                          334

            5.3       Digo voiced obstruents and moraic phonology                           336

            5.4       A catalogue of tone-accent interactions                                     339

            5.5       Bantu tone systems and metrical theory                                     342