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Title:Stress and tone in Dagaare
Authors:Arto Anttila, Adams Bodomo
Abstract:Arto Anttila Adams Bodomo

Stanford University Stanford University/

Norwegian University of

Science and Technology

Dagaare (Gur) is a two-tone language of northwestern Ghana with

approximately 1,000,000 native speakers. Most of the canonical

disyllabic nominals fall into three tonal classes: L-H, H-L and

H-H. In the first two, the second tone is a polarity tone: a suffix

assumes the opposite tone to that of the root. L-L is systematically

absent. Based on our primary descriptive work, supplemented by the

fieldnotes of Kennedy (1966), we show that several tonal processes

distinguish between LEXICAL and DERIVED tones and, in addition, there

is evidence for penultimate STRESS. The surface tonal patterns result

from an attempt to optimally satisfy (i) one-to-one correspondence

between input tones, output tones and TBUs and (ii) the preference of

stressed syllables for H and lexical tones. We show that the

lexical/derived distinction and several familiar tonal phenomena,

e.g. spreading, contour formation and floating tones can be captured

by the notion of correspondence (McCarthy and Prince 1995). Tonal

polarity is analyzed as a stress phenomenon: penultimate stress

attracts lexical tones and leaves the unstressed final syllable with

whatever is the contextually optimal derived tone, i.e. the polarity

tone. Similarly, underlyingly toneless words which are at least two

syllables long become H-H due to stress which explains the systematic

absence of L-L.
Type:Paper/tech report
Article:Version 1