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Problems in Jita tonology
Downing, Laura Jo
Doctoral Committee Chair(s)
Kisseberth, Charles W.
Department of Study
Degree Granting Institution
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
This thesis has two goals. First, it provides a detailed treatment of the tone system of Jita, an Eastern Bantu language spoken in Northwestern Tanzania. Secondly, it examines recent theoretical issues in Bantu tonology, especially the interaction of tone and accent.
Since the syllable is the TBU of Jita, the syllable structure conventions of Jita are discussed first as background to a discussion of the tone system. Using a moraic framework (Hayes 1989; Ito 1989), special attention is given to accounting for compensatory lengthening in Jita, which occurs both as the result of resyllabifying onsetless monomoraic syllables and before simplified geminate nasals and pre-nasalized consonants.
Next, the tone patterns of verbs, nouns and noun-modifier phrases are analyzed, and it is shown that much of the Jita tone system may be accounted for by non-metrical rules, i.e. rules which refer to the tonal properties of string adjacent syllables. Once it is determined which morphemes contribute a high tone to the derivation, OCP-motivated deletion rules apply to eliminate sequences of high tones on immediately adjacent syllables. Then all remaining high tones shift one syllable to the right.
However, some tone patterns in Jita are derived from tone rules which spread, reassociate or associate tones to syllables which are not string adjacent either to the trigger of the rule or to a domain edge. Following Kenstowicz (1989) and Sietsema (1989), I argue that these tone rules provide evidence for the interaction of tone and metrical prominence (accent) in Jita, since only metrical formulations of tone rules which target non string-adjacent elements conform to the Locality Principle (Archangeli & Pulleyblank 1986a,b; McCarthy & Prince 1986). It is further argued that in a theory in which accent is equivalent to metrical prominence, the Ordering Hypothesis (Goldsmith 1982; Sietsema 1989, etc.) may not be maintained. According to the Ordering Hypothesis, in languages in which tone and accent interact, all accentual rules apply in a block before all tonal rules. However, evidence from Zulu and Jita is presented which shows that non-metrical tonal rules must precede assignment of accent in those languages.