Skip to content
Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton May 3, 2017

Prefixal vowel length in Lulamogi: A stratal account

  • Larry M. Hyman EMAIL logo


Over the past several decades there has been recurrent skeptism concerning cyclic derivations in phonology, one of the most central tenets of traditional generative and lexical phonology and morphology. In this paper I draw on original data from Lulamogi, a previously almost unstudied Bantu language of Uganda, to show that the most insightful analysis of some rather unusual vowel length alternations requires either cyclicity or global reference to internal morphological structure, specifically the difference between stem vs. prefix V+V sequences. After documenting the vowel length properties in some detail I consider several analyses, opting for a stratal account which neatly mirrors the traditional Bantu stem, word, and phrasal domains.


Bermúdez-Otero, Ricardo. 2011. Cyclicity. In Marc Van Oostendorp, Colin Ewen, Elizabeth Hume & Keren Rice (eds.), The Blackwell companion to phonology. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.10.1002/9781444335262.wbctp0085Search in Google Scholar

Botne, Robert Dale. 1998. Prosodically-conditioned vowel shortening in Chindali. Studies in African Linguistics 27. 97–121.10.32473/sal.v27i1.107386Search in Google Scholar

Clements, G. Nick 1986. Compensatory lengthening and consonant gemination in LuGanda. In Leo Wetzels & Engin Sezer (eds.), Studies in compensatory lengthening, 37–77. Dordrecht: Foris.10.1515/9783110821666-004Search in Google Scholar

Cole, Desmond T. 1967. Some features of Ganda linguistic structure. Johannesburg: Witwatersrand University Press.Search in Google Scholar

Dalgish, Gerald M. 1974. Arguments for a unified treatment of y-initial and vowel-initial roots in OluTsootso. Studies in the Linguistic Sciences 4. 76–90.Search in Google Scholar

Davis, Stuart. 1988. Syllable onsets as a factor in stress rules. Phonology 5. 1–19.10.1017/S0952675700002177Search in Google Scholar

Downing, Laura J. 1991. Jita glide epenthesis and the Maximality Principle. In Kathleen Hubbard (ed.), Special Session on African Language Structures, Berkeley Linguistic Society 17, 74–86.Search in Google Scholar

Downing, Laura J. 1998. On the prosodic misalignment of onsetless syllables. NLLT 16. 1–52.Search in Google Scholar

Downing, Laura J. 1999. Prosodic stem ≠ prosodic word in Bantu. In T. Alan Hall & Ursula Kleinhenz (eds.), Studies on the phonological word, 73–98. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.10.1075/cilt.174.05dowSearch in Google Scholar

Downing, Laura J. 2004. What African languages tell us about accent typology. ZAS Papers in Linguistics 37. 101–136.10.21248/zaspil.37.2004.247Search in Google Scholar

Eynde, Karel van den. 1960. Fonologie en morfologie van het Cokwe. Leuven; Louvain: Doctoral dissertation, Université catholique de Louvain.Search in Google Scholar

Hyman, Larry M. 1978. Tone and/or accent. In Donna Jo Napoli (ed.), Elements of tone, stress and intonation, 1–20. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press.Search in Google Scholar

Hyman, Larry M. 2003. Basaá. In Derek Nurse & Gérard Philippson (eds.), The Bantu languages, 257–282. London: Routledge/Curzon.Search in Google Scholar

Hyman, Larry M. 2013. Penultimate lengthening in Bantu. In Balthasar Bickel, Lenore A. Grenoble, David A. Peterson & Alan Timberlake (eds.), Language typology and historical contingency: In honor of Johanna Nichols, 309–330. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.10.1075/tsl.104.14hymSearch in Google Scholar

Hyman, Larry M. 2014. Tonal melodies in the Lulamogi verb. Africana Linguistica 20. 163–180.10.3406/aflin.2014.1029Search in Google Scholar

Hyman, Larry M. & Sharon Inkelas, with Fred Jenga. 2017. “Multiple exponence in the Lusoga verb stem”. In Claire Bowern, Laurence Horn & Raffaella Zanuttini (eds.) On looking into Words (and beyond), 171–188. Berlin: Language Science Press.10.5070/P7121040725Search in Google Scholar

Hyman, Larry M. & Francis X. Katamba. 1990. Final vowel shortening in Luganda. Studies in African Linguistics 21. 1–59.10.32473/sal.v21i1.107438Search in Google Scholar

Hyman, Larry M. & Francis X. Katamba 1993. A new approach to tone in Luganda. Language 69. 34–67.10.2307/416415Search in Google Scholar

Hyman, Larry M. & Francis X. Katamba. 1999. The syllable in Luganda phonology and morphology. In Harry van der Hulst & Nancy Ritter (eds.), The syllable: Views and facts, 349–416. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.10.1515/9783110806793.349Search in Google Scholar

Hyman, Larry M. & John Merrill. 2016. Morphology, irregularity, and Bantu frication: The case of Lulamogi. In Jean-Léo Léonard & Daniel Petit (eds.), Actualité des Néogrammariens, Mémoires de la Société de Linguistique de Paris, 139–157. Paris: Peeters.10.5070/P70DQ5T184Search in Google Scholar

Kiparsky, Paul 1982. Lexical morphology and phonology. In I.-S. Yang (ed.), Linguistics in the morning calm, 3–91. Seoul: Hanshin.Search in Google Scholar

Kiparsky, Paul. 2000. Opacity and cyclity. The Linguistic Review 17. 351–367.10.1515/tlir.2000.17.2-4.351Search in Google Scholar

Kiparsky, Paul. 2013. On the empirical bases of phonological typology. Paper presented at the Workshop on Phonological Typology, Somerville College, University of Oxford, August 11–13, 2013.Search in Google Scholar

Kutsch Lojenga, Constance. 2007. Minimality and morae in Malila (M.24). In Doris L. Payne & Jaime Peña (eds.), Selected Proceedings of the 37th Annual Conference on African Linguistics, 77–87. Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Proceeding Project.Search in Google Scholar

Meeussen, A. E. 1967. Bantu grammatical reconstructions. Tervuren: Annales du Musée Royal de l’Afrique Centrale. Série 8°, 61, no. 81–121.Search in Google Scholar

Mutaka, Ngessimo & Larry M. Hyman. 1990. Syllables and morpheme integrity in Kinande reduplication. Phonology 7. 73–119.10.1017/S0952675700001123Search in Google Scholar

Nabirye, Minah. 2013. Confronting Busoga with Lusoga: What is the relationship between Lutenga, Lulamoogi, Lusiginhi and Lunyole? Paper presented at Conference on African Languages, Leiden. Powerpoint, Department of Languages & Cultures, Ghent University.Search in Google Scholar

Odden, David. 1995. The status of onsetless syllables in Kikerewe. Ohio State University Working Papers in Linguistics 47. 89–110.Search in Google Scholar

Odden, David. 2006. Minimality and onsetless syllables in Zinza. Phonology 23. 431–441.10.1017/S095267570600100XSearch in Google Scholar

Steriade, Donca. 2013. The role of free bases in cyclic phonology. Colloquium, Department of Linguistics, University of California, Berkeley, April 15, 2013. Handout.Search in Google Scholar

Stevick, E. W. 1969. Pitch and duration in Ganda. Journal of African Languages 8. 1–28.Search in Google Scholar

Topintzi, Nina. 2010. Onsets: Suprasegmental and prosodic behaviour. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.10.1017/CBO9780511750700Search in Google Scholar

Tucker, A. N. 1962. The syllable in Luganda: A prosodic account. Journal of African Languages 1. 122–166.Search in Google Scholar

Published Online: 2017-5-3
Published in Print: 2017-5-24

© 2017 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston

Downloaded on 24.3.2023 from
Scroll Up Arrow