|Title:||Post-High Tone Shift in Venda Nominals|
|Authors:||William Thomas Reynolds|
|Abstract:||Post-High Tone Shift in Venda Nominals
This paper examines a shift in the tonal pattern of Venda nominals when
they are immediately preceded by a high tone. Previous accounts of
this phenomenon under a rule-based, autosegmental approach have been
problematic: The Obligatory Contour Principle appears to motivate
different effects at different levels. Many of the rules required to
explain the process are language specific and stipulative. Problems
arise from the disparate treatment of low and high tones and from
assumptions such as extratonality. Certain asymmetries in the
inventory of tonal melodies remain unexplained. And questions remain
as to whether the tone-bearing unit in Venda is the syllable or the
mora. This paper attempts to address exactly such problems within the
context of an Optimality Theoretic approach. It also provides evidence
for distinct constraint rankings at the lexical and postlexical levels.
Finally, the problem of accounting for downstep within an Optimality
framework is looked into for the first time.
Note: An earlier version of this paper appeared in The South African
Journal of Linguistics, Supplement 31 (1996), pp. 55-85, under the
title "Tone in Venda Revisited: An Optimality Perspective."