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Tone in Cushitic. Maarten Mous Leiden University. Stress languages. [-tone, +stress] Highland East Cushitic: K’abeena, Sidamo. K’abeena. ultimate or penultimate syllable has stress (depending on final vowel whispered or not) correlation between stress/whispered final vowel and word class

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tone in cushitic

Tone in Cushitic

Maarten MousLeiden University

stress languages
Stress languages
  • [-tone, +stress]
  • Highland East Cushitic: K’abeena, Sidamo
k abeena
K’abeena
  • ultimate or penultimate syllable has stress (depending on final vowel whispered or not)
  • correlation between stress/whispered final vowel and word class
  • linked to case, converb vs imperative, polar questions
  • no distinctive function at lexical level
somali
Somali

Underlying accent system with tonal realisation Banti (1988)

Absolutive on the ultimate or penultimate mora: underlying accent.

Genitive: accentual pattern of ultimate accent

Nominative allomorphs involving adding an (empty) mora to the end.

rendille
Rendille

Accent language underlyingly

Realised as tone with downdrift

(Pillinger 1989)

slide6
`Afar

Domain of high tone is phrase.

High tone on one syllable in first word of NP

High tone on one last 3 syllables of that word.

H on accented syllable of that word (only minority of words have an accent); if there is no accented syllable H on final (default)

Hayward (1991).

awngi
Awngi
  • Joswig, Andreas. The phonology of Awngi. Ms
  • Awngi Phonology.pdf
oromo
Oromo

Banti Two Cushitic systems.pdf

characteristics of cushitic tone
Characteristics of Cushitic Tone
  • no lexical function
  • marked at the right edge
  • at most one pitch movement in a word
  • sometimes two in morphological complex words
  • grammatical function of tone
lexical function
Lexical function

Tonal minimal lexical pairs through name giving strategy in Iraqw.

konkomo ‘rooster’

konkomó ‘insect species’

hlooro ‘foam’

hlooró ‘locust species’

compare:

doomu ‘rainy season’

doomú personal name

axweeso ‘evening’

axweesó personal name

lexical function1
Lexical function

Gender distinction through tone in the Sam languages: Rendille (Oomen 1981: 43-44)

ínam (m) ‘boy’ inám (f) ‘girl’

áram (m) ‘husband’ arám (f) ‘wife’

árab (m) ‘elephant’ aráb (f) ‘elephants’

láhhaw (m) ‘stick’ lahháw (f) ‘stick’

Final high tone is a relic of a feminine suffix –et which cause the penultimate tone to move:

ínam-et > inámet > ináme > inám ‘girl’.

right edge
Right edge

Somali accentual patterns or melodies Saeed (1999: 42):

  • High on the last mora and Low elsewhere
  • High on the penultimate mora and Low elsewhere
  • Low on all moras

Cushitic in general: High tones on bare nouns are on ultimate or penultimate tone bearing unit.

toneless roots
Toneless roots
  • Iraqw: most nominal roots have no high tones; those that have a high tone on the ultimate are mostly Datooga loans ending in long vowel plus t or k. Tone on verbs is determined by conjugation.
  • Arbore Hayward (1984: 98): large number of nouns have no high tones.
tone in function words
Tone in function words

Oromo:

hín focus marker hin negation marker

Somali:

Adpositional particles have high tone: lá ‘with’, kú ‘in’

but adverbial clitics are toneless: wada ‘together’ and kala ‘apart’

tone on suffixes
Tone on suffixes

Iraqw demonstrative and possessive suffixes are high; specific indefinite suffixes toneless; personal pronouns high.

Series of high tones:

gajéér-’éé-dá-r ‘isawork-my-that-of yesterday

‘that work of mine of yesterday’.

not more than 1 pitch movement
not more than 1 pitch movement

if more than 1 high than in morphological complex word

Occasionally two movements:

Somali: gúrigíi ‘the house (remote)’ (Saeed 1999: 43). Penultimate high plus high tones definite suffix.

Arbore: Arbore lúkku-t-ásut ‘his hens’ (Hayward 1984: 99). Penultimate high plus high tone possessive suffix.

grammatical function of tone
Grammatical function of tone
  • high toned word classes
  • high toned suffixes
  • double high tone suffixes
  • high tone in verb conjugation
  • tone as grammatical morpheme
  • right tone shift as grammatical morpheme
double high toned suffixes
Double high toned suffixes

Oromo (Owens 1985: 93-95)

magalaa-´‑léemagaláalée ‘markets’

booll-ání ‘holes’

k’ot-am-  k’ot-ám-áa ‘cultivated’(m)

k’ot-am-  k’ot-ám-túu ‘cultivated’(f)

high tone in verb conjugation
High tone in verb conjugation
  • Past tense is marked by high tone on final syllable of the verb in Iraqw
tone as grammatical morpheme
Tone as grammatical morpheme

Beja first-singular possessive is only a low tone and the third-person possessive only a high tone in the underlying form (Appleyard 1991: 7, based on Hudson 1976).

tone shift
Tone shift
  • Somali genitive is shift of tone; nominative is erasion of high tone (Saeed 1999: 44).
  • díbi ‘bull absolutive’ dibi ‘bull masculine nominative’ dibí ‘bull genitive’
  • bisád ‘cat absolutive’bisadi ‘cat feminine nominative’bisád ‘cat genitive’
culminative behaviour of tone
Culminative behaviour of tone
  • lowering previous high tones
  • lowering following high
lowering previous high tones
Lowering previous high tones

Beja (Hudson 1976: 101-102)

  • tam-a-n-ee-´k ‘if I ate’,

compare

  • tam-a-´n ‘I ate’.

Somali (Saeed 1999: 43).

  • gúri-kéegurigéehouse-which?:m ‘which house’
lowering following high tone
Lowering following high tone

Beja (Hudson 1976: 101-102):

high tone of the root suppresses the accent of the past tense suffix ‑`a

tonal phonetics
Tonal phonetics
  • Pillinger’s analysis of Rendille.
absence of common tone rules
Absence of common tone rules
  • no high tone spread
  • no tone assimilation
  • downdrift but no downstep
  • no final lowering
tone or accent
Tone or Accent
  • Tone: phonemic function for pitch at word level
  • Accent: distribution of prominence at word level. At least one stressed syllable.
  • Cushitic languages: pitch but not all words have a “stressed” syllable.
  • + tone –stress in Hyman’s (2006) typology.
tone bearing unit is mora
Tone bearing unit is mora
  • Somali: (Banti 1988: 13; Saeed 1999: 41)
  • Dhaasanac: (Tosco 2001: 36)
  • Rendille: máàr ‘bullock’ vs màár ‘heiffer’ (Pillinger 1989)
tone and intonation
Tone and intonation
  • Polar question intonation
  • No general question intonation
  • Sentence backgrounding by intonation
stress nd tone
Stress ánd tone
  • Awngi stress independent of tone.
  • Stress falls on the penultimate and is accompanied by a slight rise in pitch.
  • Four tones: High, Mid, Low, High-Mid Hetzron (1997: 483). Reanalysed as High & Low by Joswig (2006)
  • Iraqw has stress realised by length, independent of tone
historical developments
Historical developments
  • tone > stress in Highland East Cushitic under influence from Semitic according to Tosco.
  • gender by tone in proto East Cushitic according to Appleyard (1991) but see Oomen’s proposal for Rendille above.
  • emergence of some tonal oppositions in South Cushitic according to Kiessling (2002)
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