[Author Login]
Title:Leftward High tone spread and downstep in Nyore
Authors:Michael Key
Comment:Presented at WOCAL 4/ACAL 34 (June 2003)
Abstract:Nyore (E.33), a Bantu language of western Kenya, exhibits an interesting assortment of tonal behavior in both the infinitival and finite verbal system. The primary focus of our study will be to produce an overview of Nyore verbal morphotonology, which has never before been described. Nyore verb stems have been found to be either underlyingly H-toned or toneless, as shown in (1) and (2). Nyore exhibits a productive process of leftward bounded spreading of certain H's, as seen in (3) (but not in (2)), where the underlying H on the object marker spreads backward to the class prefix.

(1) o- xu- lub- a < /o-xu-lub-a/
ppf C15 fish FV
‘to fish’

(2) o- xu- tééx- a < /o-xu-tééx-a/
ppf C15 cook FV
‘to cook’

(3) o- xú- mú- tééx- a < /o-xu-mú-tééx-a/
ppf C15 3sg. cook FV
‘to cook him/her’

Accounting for which verbal configurations display High tone spread and constraining to what extent this takes place shall be the second focus of our inquiry. Nyore also displays the downstep of High tones in certain sequences of consecutive H’s, as in (4):

(4) nd- á-xá- !xú- h- a? < /nd-a-xá-xú-h-a/
1sg. T/A 2sg. give FV
‘I have given you(sg.)’

Finally, we hope to discuss the inexorable theoretical aspects of this study. Specifically, a complex interaction of correspondence constraints, such as Extend (Cassimjee 1995 and others), proves vital to an optimality-theoretic account of the facts.
Type:Paper/tech report
Article:Version 1