Intonation: Theory, Models, and Applications

Athens, Greece
September 18-20, 1997


Morphosyntax and Intonation in WOLOF the Coherence of a System

Annie Rialland (1), Stephane Robert (2)

(1) CNRS, URA 1027, Paris, France
(2) CNRS, LLACAN, Meudon, France

There is no tradition of research on Wolof intonation as there is on most European intonation systems. Consequently, this paper deals with a barely studied intonation system and builds largely from scratch. It examines the overall organisation of the Wolof intonational system and its relationship with grammatical features, in particular the complex system of focus-marking in the verb conjugation. We first show that Wolof has unmarked, all-low declarative sentences which are not organised into smaller prosodic units. We then study utterances with high pitch targets: 1) in relation to their syntactically-determined division into prosodic groups, and 2) in interrogative utterances, with and without interrogative morphemes. Rules such as downdrift and downdrift cancellation apply to these high targets. Final boundary tones are also studied.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Rialland, Annie / Robert, Stephane (1997): "Morphosyntax and intonation in WOLOF the coherence of a system", In INT-1997, 289-292.