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Document Details :

Title: Melodic Tones in Kikamba
Author(s): ROBERTS-KOHNO, Ruth
Journal: Africana Linguistica
Volume: 20    Date: 2014   
Pages: 367-384
DOI: 10.2143/AL.20.0.3062078

Abstract :
Kikamba has a rich system of surface tone patterns. These patterns are the result of the interaction between lexical tone, melodic tone assignment, and a phrase‑level SL tone. All verbs are lexically either H-toned or L-toned, where the first stem mora receives a H tone or is assigned a L tone by default. The assigned melodic tones include a V2H tone associated with the second mora of a verb stem, a L tone associated with the penultimate mora of a verb stem, and a tone associated with the final mora of the verb. Interestingly, both V2H and lexical H are assigned at a left edge, but only the melodic V2H may spread: it spreads rightward throughout the verb stem until it is stopped by another tone. In contrast, SL tones are only assigned at right edges and may spread leftward to long syllables and H-toned syllables. When a following complement puts a SL tone in phrase-medial position, melodic SL tone and phrasal SL behave differently. A melodic SL tone will delete, and a phrasal SL will shift to the right edge of the phrase, thereby providing a useful diagnostic for melodic versus phrase-level tones.

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