Tonal Processes in the Setswana Verb

Irina Monich 1
  • 1 University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT, USA
Irina Monich

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.

  • Barrett-Keach, Camilla. 1986. Word-internal evidence form Swahili for Aux/INFL. Linguistic Inquiry 17. 559564.

    • Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Buell, Leston. 2005. Issues in Zulu morphosyntax. Los Angeles, CA: University of California Los Angeles Ph.D. dissertation.

  • Cole, Desmond T. and Mokaila, Dingaan Mpho. 1962. A Course in Tswana. Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press.

    • Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Creissels, Denis. 1996. Conjunctive and disjunctive verb forms in Setswana. South African Journal of African Languages 16(4). 109115.

    • Crossref
    • Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Creissels, Denis. (in collaboration with Anderson M. Chebanne & H.W. Nkhwa). 1997. Tonal morphology of the Setswana verb. Munich: LINCOM Europa.

    • Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Creissels, Denis. 1998. Expansion and retraction of high tone domains in Setswana. In Larry M. Hyman & Charles W. Kisseberth (eds.), Theoretical aspects of Bantu tone, 133194. Stanford, CA: Center for the Study of Language and Information (CSLI).

    • Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Creissels, Denis. 2008. Tswana verb morphology and the Lexical Integrity Principle. Lingue e linguaggio 5(1). 4966.

    • Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Embick, David & Ralph Noyer. 1999. Locality in post-syntactic operations. Working Papers in Linguistics 34. 265317.

    • Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Fivaz, Derek. 1970. Shona morphophonemics and morphosyntax. University of Witwatersrand, Dept. of African Languages (Johannesburg).

  • Halle, Morris & Alec Marantz. 1993. Distributed morphology and the pieces of inflection. In Kenneth Hale & S. Jay Keyser (eds.), The view from building 20, 111176. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

    • Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Halle, Morris & Alec Marantz. 1994. Some key features of distributed morphology. In Andrew Carnie & Heidi Harley (eds.), MITWPL 21: Papers on phonology and morphology (MIT Working Papers in Linguistics 21), 275288. Cambridge, MA: MIT Department of Linguistics.

    • Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Laka, Miren Itziar. 1990. Negation in syntax: On the nature of functional categories and projections. Cambridge, MA: MIT doctoral dissertation.

    • Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Marantz, Alec. 1988. Clitics, morphological merger, and the mapping to phonological structure. In Michael Hammond & Michael Noonan (eds.), Theoretical morphology: Approaches in modern linguistics, 253270. San Diego, CA: Academic Press.

    • Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Myers, Scott P. 1998. AUX in Bantu morphology and phonology. In Larry M. Hyman & Charles W. Kisseberth (eds.), Theoretical aspects of Bantu tone, 231264. Stanford, CA: Center for the Study of Language and Information (CSLI).

    • Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Nespor, Marina & Irene Vogel. 1986. Prosodic phonology. Dordrecht: Foris.

  • Odden, David. 1986. On the role of the Obligatory Contour Principle in phonological theory. Language 62. 353383.

  • Selkirk, Elizabeth. 1995. The prosodic structure of function words. In Jill Beckman, Laura Walsh Dickey & Susan Urbanczyk (eds.), Papers in optimality theory (University of Massachusetts Occasional Papers Volume 18), 439469. Amherst, MA: GLSA, UMass–Amherst.

    • Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Truckenbrodt, Hubert. 1995. Phonological Phrases: Their Relation to Syntax, Focus, and Prominence. Ph.D. dissertation, MIT.

  • Zanuttini, Raffaella. 1991. Syntactic properties of sentential negation: A comparative study of Romance languages. Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Doctoral dissertation.

Purchase article
Get instant unlimited access to the article.
$42.00
Log in
Already have access? Please log in.


or
Log in with your institution

Journal + Issues

The Journal of African Languages and Linguistics was founded in 1979 and has established itself as an important refereed forum for publications in African linguistics. The journal welcomes original contributions on all aspects of African language studies, synchronic as well as diachronic, theoretical as well as data-oriented.

Search