Abstract The present article offers an account of how tonal contours of individual verbal forms are generated in Setswana. Its main proposal is that verbal forms have complex structure with internal boundaries that are relevant to tonal processes. The framework of the account, Distributed Morphology (DM), distinguishes between word-building operations that take place in Syntax, in Morphology, and in Phonology, and it is argued that constituency created in the course of these operations is reflected in the tonal melody of individual forms. The present analysis accounts for tonal contours of all forms that posed difficulty under previous treatments while presenting a number of significant theoretical advantages. Most importantly, it offers an insight into Setswana clause structure and defines in precise terms the role that tone plays in making morphosyntactic and prosodic structures phonologically explicit.
Journal of African Languages and Linguistics – de Gruyter
Published: Oct 1, 2014
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