Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Stellenbosch Papers in Linguistics Plus (SPiL Plus)]]> vol. 62 num. lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<b>Revisiting Basaa verbal derivation</b>]]> Basaa, a Narrow Bantu language (A43) spoken in Cameroon in Central Africa holds a serious record of descriptive works in phonology, morphology, and syntax. Verb morphology has been studied in detail by Bitjaa Kody (1990), Dimmendaal (1988), and Hyman (2003), among others. The present paper focuses on verb derivation in Baasa, and raises two main issues: (i) the paradigm of expansions that are recurrent in the language, and (ii) extensions which suggest the existence of additional suffixes to what is already reported. Further extensions include the perfective, the associative, and the tentive. This paper concludes with an attempt to reconstruct Basaa extensions, mirroring Schadeberg's (2003) Proto-Bantu propositions. <![CDATA[<b>An exploration into Penultimate and Final Lengthening in Tswana (Southern Bantu)</b>]]> This study investigates the segmental lengthening patterns resulting from prosodic boundaries in Tswana, a Southern Bantu language. The aim is to shed light on the interaction between Penultimate Lengthening and Final Lengthening, providing the first quantitative investigation of these phenomena in Tswana. We conducted a production experiment that applies a widely tested design to elicit production data of two different prosodic phrasing patterns in coordinated noun phrases. The results suggest that Penultimate Lengthening and Final Lengthening constitute independent mechanisms which both apply in Tswana. Penultimate Lengthening occurs before prosodic phrase boundaries as well as before word boundaries but to differing degrees (cf. Cole 1955: 55). Before prosodic phrase boundaries, it involves a strong lengthening effect on the vowel of the penultimate syllable. Before word boundaries, the amount of lengthening is smaller. Final Lengthening operates on the final syllable before a prosodic phrase boundary, involving a larger amount on the final vowel than on the preceding consonant. This pattern is in line with the pattern observed in other languages. The amount of lengthening on the final vowel is comparable to the amount on the penultimate vowel. Given that a large increase of lengthening on the penultimate syllable has not been observed in connection with Final Lengthening, we assume that Penultimate Lengthening constitutes a language-specific mechanism that applies independently. Final Lengthening, on the other hand, might be a universal phenomenon. The perceptual salience of Penultimate Lengthening, which has been widely reported in the literature for Bantu languages, might have to do with the dynamics within the lengthening domains, namely that the lengthening in penultimate position is relatively stronger than in final position when compared to the preceding syllable. <![CDATA[<b>Phonological and morphological influences on vowel hiatus resolution in Rutooro</b>]]> When the morphology of a language creates instances of successive vowels, these cases of vowel hiatus are often resolved or repaired. This paper presents a wide variety of instances where vowel hiatus is created within verbs in Rutooro, a Ugandan Bantu language. It is shown that five different strategies are employed to resolve vowel hiatus: deletion, gliding, diphthongisation, epenthesis, and lexical allomorphy. While some of these processes are largely phonological, there are a number of morphological factors which also play a role in determining which of the various strategies are employed. All of these are explored and discussed. <![CDATA[<b>Phonetic and phonological considerations on the moraic status of pre-NC vowels in Bemba</b>]]> The pre-NC vowel in many Bantu languages is generally understood to be long. In Bemba, where there is also a vowel length contrast, this raises the question whether the pre-NC vowel is phonetically as long as lexical long vowels and how phonologised this length might be. In contrast to lexically long vowels, pre-NC vowel length is attributed to vowel lengthening resulting from the restructuring of a nasal to create a prenasalised stop. This is thus relevant to whether such stops are treated as unit segments or not. The present paper focuses on the pre-NC vowel and presents an evaluation of whether the pre-NC vowel is monomoraic or bimoraic by considering both phonetic and phonological evidence. Segmental and most tonal evidence leans towards a monomoraic treatment of the pre-NC vowel. One set of tonal data, however, shows variation in moraicity, presenting a mixed picture that we conclude emanates from the intermediate phonetic duration of the pre-NC vowel.¹ <![CDATA[<b>When factivity meets the conjoint/disjoint alternation</b>]]> This paper examines the conjoint/disjoint alternation in matrix verbs which take clausal complements in Zulu. It shows that the typical verbs which by default take the disjoint form with a clausal complement are factive verbs, though it is also clear that other attitude verbs can undergo the conjoint/disjoint alternation as well. The paper explores the connection between focus and the conjoint/disjoint alternation in Zulu utilising the Question Under Discussion (QUD) approach. This will help to understand the interpretations associated with the alternations in combination with clausal complements. <![CDATA[<b>The grammatical primacy of tone in Cushitic</b>]]> The current dimensions in the typology of tone are not insightful for understanding the properties of tone in Cushitic languages. Some Cushitic languages are characterised as "pitch accent", but these cannot be considered stress languages because the criterion of obligatoriness of every word having a stressed unit is not valid for them. In Hyman's (2006) typology, these languages are (restricted) tone languages. Pitch as prominence marker does show the stress-like tendencies of culminativity and demarcation in these languages, which is why the label "pitch accent" has been suggested. The tone properties are better explained by another dimension, namely the fact that the distinctive function of tone hardly plays a role at the lexical level but does play a role at the grammatical level. <![CDATA[<b>Pre-nominal DP modifiers and penultimate lengthening in Xitsonga</b>]]> Bantu languages generally have noun-initial DP word order but they typically allow for demonstratives, and in some languages also the quantifier meaning 'each, every', to precede the noun. Beyond this, Bantu languages generally allow changing the relative order of the post-nominal modifiers, which leads to subtle (focus-related) changes in meaning. Bantu languages generally do not allow for adjectives, numerals, and possessives to appear before the noun. However, Xitsonga allows such orders and these orders trigger lengthening effects. In this paper, we discuss DP word order alternations in Xitsonga and their effects on prosody in terms of penultimate lengthening. We show that there is a stable, statistically significant effect on length which can be demonstrated experimentally. <![CDATA[<b>Prosodic marking of focus and givenness in Kinyarwanda and Rwandan English</b>]]> This paper concentrates on whether systematic variations in pitch, intensity, and duration can be observed as a function of the focused or discourse-given status of a constituent in Kinyarwanda (Guthrie code JD.61), and a relatively recent variety of "New English" in contact with this Bantu language. Kinyarwanda is a tone language, in which the information-structural notion of focus has been reported to be expressed through changes in word order, with focus appearing clause-finally (Kimenyi 1988, Ndayiragije 1999, Ngoboka 2016). In contrast, Standard English is well-known for the prosodic boost associated with narrowly focused words and the prosodic reduction of post-focal items. Crosslinguistically, the prosodic expression of focus and givenness is progressively being considered a marked feature. Zerbian (2015a) predicts that it should not be found in a second language or a contact variety if it is not already present in the first language of a speaker or a group of speakers. Our study finds no evidence that information focus, exhaustive focus, or givenness systematically affect the prosody of Kinyarwanda. We also find no systematic effect of information structure in the variety of English spoken by our Rwandan participants, confirming that this is probably an area of English that is difficult to acquire. <![CDATA[<b>The prosody of Shingazidja relatives: An update</b>]]> Much work has been done in recent years on the prosody of relative clauses in Bantu languages (see among others Downing et al. 2010), and this is also the case for Shingazidja, a Bantu language of the Comoros (Patin 2010). It has been established that restrictive relatives in Shingazidja differ from non-restrictive ones in that the latter, contrary to restrictives, have the relative separated from its head by a prosodic boundary, as in other languages (Cheng and Kula 2006, Cheng and Downing 2007). However, many aspects of the prosody of Shingazidja relatives remain to be established. In particular, the question of whether relatives in this language are aligned with the boundaries of Intonation Phrases remains undetermined, as the H% boundary tone that characterizes these prosodic structures when they do not emerge at the end of an utterance (see O'Connor and Patin 2015) is not always observable in the data (Patin 2017). The descriptive examination of a corpus collected in 2009 indicates that an H% boundary tone does emerge at the right boundary of the relative, but that (i) this tone is associated with the last surface tone and not with the last vowel, and (ii) that it is absent from a restrictive if the restrictive relative is of reduced size, revealing that eurhythmic constraints condition the prosodic structure of these clauses. <![CDATA[<b>Melodic High tones in Emihavani</b>]]> Emihavani is a Bantu language spoken in southeastern Malawi. It is a dialect of Emakhuwa, a language whose origins lie in Nampula Province in northern Mozambique, but whose speakers have migrated into both southern Tanzania and southeastern Malawi. It is important to note that all of the regions where Emakhuwa dialects are spoken are economically under-developed, and a consequence of this is that the language, despite being spoken by several million people, is one of the poorer documented major Bantu languages (cf. Guérois 2015; Katupha 1983, 1991; Kisseberth 2003; Kisseberth and Guérois 2014; Stucky 1985; Van der Wal 2009). The present paper starts to remedy this situation for Emihavani by providing an account of the most complicated aspect of the Emihavani tonal system: the melodic High tone patterns that operate in the verbal system. In order to document these tone patterns, we will necessarily have to provide a brief discussion of several aspects of Emihavani phonology and morphology. We should emphasize that all of the material in this paper derives from our intensive research on Emihavani that began in 2017. All of the data reflects the speech of Alfred Lihelu, a native speaker who has been part of all the significant research on Emihavani in the past few years (e.g. the translation and recording of the New Testament in 2014 by the Bible Society of Malawi). Although our focus is definitely on Emihavani, we also seek to place Emihavani in its proper Emakhuwa context. All references to other Emakhuwa dialects derive from the first author's research over more than four decades. <![CDATA[<b>On five-level tone contrasts: The case of Dan-Gblewo</b>]]> The central goal of this research is to propose that no language utilizes more than four level pitches contrastively (from low to high). The central question is whether a five- or six-way contrast represents five or six level tones, or a combination of level tones, contour tones, voice quality, and syllable type. We argue that Dan-Gblewo operates a four-level-plus-creaky-voice system rather than a five-level tone system. We show that Dan must be analysed as such from the empirical, experimental, and theoretical perspectives.