SOAS Research Online

A Free Database of the Latest Research by SOAS Academics and PhD Students

[skip to content]

Richardson, I. (1956) The role of tone in the structure of Sukuma. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

PDF - Submitted Version
Download (20MB) | Preview


The demonstration of the role of tone in Sukima may best be effected by treating the subject as a problem which centres round the assigning to units of tonal characteristics from which may be inferred the tones heard in speech. Certain general features of tonal behaviour found in lexical and grammatical elements of both nominal and verbal words are outlined in the first chapter, which also indicates some of the basic principles of the method of analysis employed. Chapter II carries a stage further the discussion of problems of classification affecting the nominal which were introduced in Chapter I. Experimental tone groups are examined and discarded in favour of tone classes of a more specific nature. These in their turn are abandoned for a system of assigned tonal characteristics with no reference to definite tone classes. From these investigations are adduced rules of tonal behaviour which when applied to selected samples enable further deductions to be made about their tonal characteristics. Chapter III consists of an exposition of the tonal characteristics of verbal Constituents of all kinds, both grammatical and lexical. In it questions concerning the verbal already broached in Chapter I are discussed at length in an attempt to show the part played by each constituent in the aggregate tonal characteristic of a verbal. A similar function is performed for nominals and their constituents by Chapters IV and V, the former dealing with grammatical and the latter with lexical components. It can be concluded from this treatment that, once a correlation has been established between essential characteristics and the tones heard in speech, a large part of the tonal behaviour of the language can be reduced to regular though complex patterns.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 15:06

Altmetric Data


Download activity - last 12 monthsShow export options
Downloads since deposit
6 month trend
6 month trend
Accesses by country - last 12 monthsShow export options
Accesses by referrer - last 12 monthsShow export options

Repository staff only

Edit Item Edit Item