The 4th International Symposium on Tonal Aspects of Languages

Nijmegen, The Netherlands
May 13-16, 2014

High Tone Spreading and Phonological Phrases in Bàsàá

Fatima Hamlaoui (1), Siri M. Gjersøe (2), Emmanuel-Moselly Makasso (3)

(1) Zentrum für Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft, Berlin, Germany
(2) Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Germany
(3) Centre National d’Education-MINRESI, Cameroon

High Tone Spreading (HTS), by which an underlying High tone associated with a mora spreads rightwards and associates with one or several following moras, is a major tonal process in Bàsàá (Cameroon, Bantu A43). We here examine the domain of application of this process and establish that HTS allows us to determine the right edge of Phonological Phrases. We discuss apparent counterevidence to this claim: in the postverbal domain, the distinction between arguments and adjuncts is neutralized, and HTS seems to apply in a purely linear fashion. We offer an account of this pattern using MATCHPHRASEMAX and MAX-BIN. Alternatively, we propose that prosody might here simply provide a window into the unexpected, but not so unusual syntax of this Bantu language.

Index Terms: High Tone Spreading, Phonological Phrase, Prosody, Bantu, Syntax-Phonology Interface

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Hamlaoui, Fatima / Gjersøe, Siri M. / Makasso, Emmanuel-Moselly (2014): "High tone spreading and phonological phrases in Bàsàá", In TAL-2014, 27-31.