Idiatov, Dmitry & Mark Van de Velde. (2018). The tone system of Bena-Yungur. In Raija Kramer & Roland Kießling (eds.), Current approaches to Adamawa and Gur languages, 171-191. Cologne: Rüdiger Köppe.



We begin by presenting a concise grammatical overview of Bena-Yungur in Section ‎2. Section ‎3 concentrates on the tone rules of the language, viz. tone spread (‎3.1), tone absorption (‎3.2) and floating tone attachment (‎3.3). The joint application of these tone rules is briefly illustrated in Section ‎3.4. Section ‎4 is concerned with the distribution of tones over syllables and lexemes. Sections ‎4.1 and ‎4.2 comment on the exceptional nature of contour tones on monosyllabic lexemes (‎4.1) and the marginal occurrence of the three-tone contour HLH on these lexemes as a result of tone spread (‎4.2). The analysis of the distribution of tones in lexemes allows for an internal reconstruction of the current three level Bena-Yungur tone system as a formerly two level system (Section ‎4.3). The major factor behind the increase of the number of tone levels in Bena-Yungur is the effect of stem-initial voiced stops as tone depressor consonants. Section ‎5, finally, provides a description of the morphological operations in Bena-Yungur that consist exclusively of tone changes. Nouns may acquire tone schemes different from their lexical tone patterns in certain syntactic positions (‎5.1) and a number of morphological processes applied to nouns and verbs assign tone schemes that override lexical tones (‎5.2).


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Posted on

23 November 2018