Topics in Taita tone II

This paper describes aspects of tone in the Mbololo dialect of Taita, comparing it to the Dembwa dialect described in Odden (2001). A salient feature of tone in the language is a covert lexical distinction between words with final H versus those with no final tone. Phrasal tone alternations provide ample evidence allowing the recovery of this underlying distinction. The language also has a process of rightward H tone shift, also found in languages such as lita and Dembwa Taita. In contrast to Dembwa Taita, where language- nternal evidence clearly indicates that surface shift is the result of general spreading and restricted de-linking, the patterns of spread and delinking in Mbololo Taita are perfectly matched, so that there is no synchronic evidence for a two-step account of tone shift. (Source: Author Abstract)

Title:Topics in Taita tone II
Author:Odden, D.
Year:2006
Periodical:Studies in African Linguistics
Volume:35
Issue:1
Pages:33-72
Geographic term:Kenya
Discipline:Language
Abstract:This paper describes aspects of tone in the Mbololo dialect of Taita, comparing it to the Dembwa dialect described in Odden (2001). A salient feature of tone in the language is a covert lexical distinction between words with final H versus those with no final tone. Phrasal tone alternations provide ample evidence allowing the recovery of this underlying distinction. The language also has a process of rightward H tone shift, also found in languages such as lita and Dembwa Taita. In contrast to Dembwa Taita, where language- nternal evidence clearly indicates that surface shift is the result of general spreading and restricted de-linking, the patterns of spread and delinking in Mbololo Taita are perfectly matched, so that there is no synchronic evidence for a two-step account of tone shift. (Source: Author Abstract)