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Title: Aspects of phonology and morphology of shimakonde
Authors: Odden, David
Liphola, Marcelino Marta
Keywords: Processo semântico e cultural
Língua bantu
Língua Shimakonde
Issue Date: 5-Mar-2001
Publisher: School of the Ohio state University
Abstract: This dissertation examines the phonology and morphology of the Bantu language Shimakonde. This study provides the first extensive description of the language and explores contemporary issues in the phonological and linguistic theory. Along with a descriptive account of the aspects of phonology and morphology of the language, this dissertation also investigates in depth the core phonological processes of segmental phonology, syllable prosody, nominal and verbal tone, and nominal phrase phonology and raises a number of problems which have some theoretical interest. Specifically, this dissertation documents a large range of types of phonological processes, such as V-V sequences and shows that there are many patterns of V-V resolution including Glide Formation, coalescence, fusion, deletion of the first vowel of the sequence and homorganic glide deletion. An examination of the patterns of hiatus resolution reveals that although V-V resolution in Bantu languages has been investigated before, predictions made by a theory of phonological timing do not reflect a universal account of V-V sequences. Namely, a prevocalic mid vowel undergoes Glide Formation just like a prevocalic high vowel does, and Glide Formation is obligatory in the penult, and optional before the penult. The position-induced optional Glide Formation introduces a new pattern of V-V resolution which has not been documented yet. The bases for optional Glide Formation are not clear, so this fact requires further investigation. Second, this dissertation deals with unfamiliar process of stress-induced phonological vowel reduction in a typically Bantu tone language. In Shimakonde, both short mid vowels /e,0/ and long mid vowels [ee,0 0] derived from /a+e/ and /a+o/, respectively, reduce to [a] in unstressed syllables. Reduction interacts with V-V resolution and also with harmony, and reduction should apply after V-V resolution creates long vowels. Harmony feeds into reduction, and reduction makes harmony to be opaque, because reduction removes all relevant vocalic features which are crucial for proper application of harmony. Furthermore, there is a restriction in the pattern of reduction when this process involves a sequence of contiguous reducible vowels. This restriction requires that vowel reduction applies to a vowel beginning at one point from the left edge of the stem to the right, and once the rule stops applying, it cannot restart applying again. Acoustic measurements and perceptual test show that the surface [a] derived from reduction of mid vowels is indistinguishable phonetically from the surface stressed vowel [a]. Finally, this dissertation examines phonological rules that apply at the phrase level. This investigation provides data which are counterexamples to all current theories of syntax-phonology interaction. Although syntax-phonology interaction has been investigated before, this study is the first to examine structures involving a noun before multiple modifiers. AU current theories of syntax-phonology interaction predict correctly, that a noun and a modiUer phrase together phonologically, if the two words are within the same maximal projection, i.e. the syntactic constituent XP. Shimakonde shows that the combination of a noun before multiple modifiers triggers the same phonological changes which apply to a noun before a single modifier. Surprisingly these phonological changes also apply to a modifier before another modifier. Phrasal phonological rules apply to two elements even if they are in separate clauses. These facts cannot be explained by the major theories of syntax-phonology interaction. I propose an account which claims that a phonological rule applies between two words if the trigger and the target words are bounded within the same NP, and any relevant phrasal phonological rule applies to elements which are contained in different XP constituents.
Appears in Collections:Teses de Doutoramento - BCE

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