Aspects of Kono phonology
This work is a descriptive analysis of the Kono sound system. Kono is a Sierra Leonean language belonging to the Mande family of languages. The work is divided into two parts. The first part consists of three chapters, and deals mainly with non-tonal phonology. Chapter 1 discusses possible social and historical factors that may have affected the development of the culture and the language of the Kono people, the classification and possible origin of Kono particularly, and the Mande languages generally, a brief survey of previous work on Yono, and the theoretical framework, upon which this work is based. This is followed in the next two chapters by a discussion of various sound segments with a view to establishing a phoneme inventory of the language. Problems of phonemic interpretation relating to the establishment of such an inventory are discussed. The vowel-consonant dichotomy is discussed in Chapter 2. So also are the problems relating to vowel length, dissimilar vowels in sequence, and vowel nasalisation. Chapter 3 deals with problems posed by the distribution of consonant segments, particularly those relating to palatalisation, labialisation, prenasalisation, and nasalisation. Part Two deals with tone, and starts with a general review of studies in tonal phonology in Chapter 4. Syllable Structure is considered in Chapter 5, with particular consideration of how such a structure may be affected by its relationship with tone. The lexical and grammatical functions of tone form the basis of the discussion in Chapter 6. Finally in this part, there is in Chapter 7 an acoustic analysis of, fundamental frequency in relation to tone in Kono. This analysis was carried out with the object of Providing additional data to supplement our auditory analysis.