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Title: Accent, tone and prosodic structure in rendille : with particular reference to the nominal system
Author: Pillinger, Owen Stephen
Awarding Body: SOAS, University of London
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 1989
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This thesis investigates pitch and other prosodic phenomena in Rendille within the framework of Autosegmental and Morale Phonology, with a view to determining their relative functions within the phonology, and attempting to formalise the rules and structures involved. It is shown that Rendille is a language in the process of reinterpreting tone as tonal accent, and manifests phenomena characteristic of both systems: accent primarily in the lexicon, and tone postlexlcally. It is also argued that an analysis of accent In terms of 'tonal underspecification' is inadequate, and that the accentual asterisk must be retained as distinct from High tone. In order to determine the Tone-Bearing Units of Rendllle, a number of suprasegmental and non-suprasegmental processes are investigated. This establishes the need for both syllables and moras as prosodic units. Spectrographic analysis of vowel durations provides crucial evidence that a polysyllable analysis of long vowels (as in Government Phonology), which would account for accent assignment without reference to moras, would nevertheless fall to account for closed syllable contraction. This confirms the polymoralc analysis of long vowels, and establishes the mora as the TBU in Rendllle. A detailed investigation into tone and accent in the Rendille nominal system reveals that three declensions of nouns are required to account for contrasting tone patterns over a range of environments. Accentual and tonal case marking Is found to be extensively employed in nouns and NP's. Certain non-nominal pitch phenomena are also briefly examined, and are seen to confirm and clarify the analysis based on nouns. Theoretical issues raised by these analyses are discussed, Including the deletion of accented moras (for which a 'double-accent' convention is proposed); and issues in prosodic structure involving syllabification, extraprosodlclty, and edge-units. An interpretation of edge-units is suggested which would allow both compensatory lengthening and closed syllable contraction to be incorporated into the syllabification process.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available