Journal of West African Languages

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The Tone of Kabiye Verbal Extensions The Tone of Kabiye Verbal Extensions

This paper investigates the extent to which the tones of Kabiye verbal extensions are predictable from the surface tone patterns of the root to which they are attached, and/or those of any corresponding underived roots. Following Snider (2018), the analysis counts relative frequencies of phonotactic patterns to identify complex stems, and compares known complex stems with those that are suspect. This process reveals two kinds of stem-final [LABIAL] and [DORSAL] consonants: those that elide in the imperative which are analyzed as forming part of the underived roots, and those that do not elide which are considered to be extensions. As for stem-final [CORONAL] consonants, which are much more numerous, the same diagnostic is not available because no elision process is attested. Nevertheless, most of those in this set are best analyzed as having extensions with causative, intensive, transitive, diminutive and reversive values. As for the tonal tier, the most convincing hypothesis is that imperatives of underived verbs have two surface tone patterns (H, L) each of which fan out into three surface tone patterns (H, L, HL) when one, two or three extensions are added. The extensions themselves have one of three underlying tone patterns /-H, -L, -∅/, with the unspecified tone being necessary to resolve an adjacency issue.


Volume Number 46.2
Topic #1 Phonology
Topic #2 Tone
Author This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Language Family Gur
Subject Language Kabiye

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