Journal of West African Languages

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Downstep in Igala and Yala (Ikom) Downstep in Igala and Yala (Ikom)

This article describes downstep in Igala and Yala (Ikom), two West Benue-Congo languages operating three-tone systems, with the aim of identifying how downstep in three-tone systems differs from that in two-tone systems. Downstep affects all the three tone levels of the languages studied, but high tone spreading and voiceless obstruents in syllable onset position block the phenomenon in the languages. Also, while the usual downstep trigger is floating low tones, downstepped high is also triggered by floating mid tones in Igala and Yala (Ikom). These add to the body of proof that terracing can, and does, operate in tone systems with three levels and that it interacts in obvious ways with other tonal and segmental phenomena. These facts therefore need to be included in the descriptions, typologies, and synthesising of three-tone languages.




Data

Volume Number 43.1
Topic #1 Tone
Author This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Language English
Language Family Other Benue-Congo
Subject Language Igala, Yala (Ikom)


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