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Title:A Sesotho tonal grammar
Author(s):Khoali, Benjamin Thakampholo
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Kisseberth, Charles W.
Department / Program:Linguistics
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Language, Linguistics
Abstract:This dissertation is an account of the tonology of Sesotho. A phonological component consisting of such subsystems as the theory of moraic phonology, metrical phonology, autosegmental phonology and prosodic phonology is presupposed. Whenever relevant, I appeal to the principles and rules that govern each of these subsystems.
The main contribution of this thesis is, however, the role played by prosodic domains in the tonology of Sesotho. Four such domains are utilized to constrain the application of tones rules for the language. These are the syllable, the phonological Word (W-domain), the Clitic Group (C-domain) and the Phonological Phrase (P-domain).
Tone rules in Sesotho can be classified into two groups: assimilatory and dissimilatory. Assimilatory rules involve spreading of H tones. There are two types of such H tones: lexical H tones and grammatical H tones. Lexical H tones assimilate by spreading one mora to the right whereas grammatical H tones spread all the way to heads of metrical constituents. Dissimilatory processes, on the other hand, involve various kinds of deletion and delinking of H tones. Such dissimilatory processes are shown to be responses to violations of the OCP. The responses to these violations of the OCP are different from one dialect of Sesotho to the other.
Tone rules which have been found to be constrained by these prosodic domains are: (1) Meeussen's Rule--a W-domain span rule, (2) Right Branch Delinking--a W-domain and a C-domain span rule, (3) High Tone Spreading--a W-domain and a C-domain span rule, (4) Downstepping--a P-domain juncture rule, (5) Left Branch Delinking--a W-domain limit rule, (6) H Tone Insertion--a P-domain limit rule, (7) M Toning--a P-domain limit rule, and so forth.
The interaction between phonology and syntax is also discussed. It is demonstrated that heads which are C-commanded by Chomsky-adjoined constituents are at the ends of P-domains. Otherwise, the extreme right bracket of a Xmax is the end of a P-domain. Independent syntactic evidence to support the claim concerning the role played by tone in signalling Chomsky-adjoined constituents is advanced.
Issue Date:1991
Rights Information:Copyright 1991 Khoali, Benjamin Thakampholo
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9136637
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9136637

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