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Carter, H. (1971) Syntactic tone phrases in Kongo. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI: https://doi.org/10.25501/SOAS.00029647

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Abstract

Zombo sentences are described as consisting of one or more 'pitch phrases'. The arrangement of items in phrases is correlatable with their syntactic status. Syntactic units are characterized by phrase-initial or non-initial position. Pitches are interpreted in terms of a tonal system of high and low tones. Nominals examined in contexts of maximum differentiation show up to two tono-morphological variants, the occurrence of which is determined by the syntactic slot the nominal fills. Patterns of phrase-initial nominals occupying an entire phrase are described in terms of two initial realization rules, or modifications, each applying to a specific variant. Under modification, the high tones of the basic structure may not be fully realized. Patterns of phrase-initial nominal groups are further described in terms of three initial sequences : concatenate, composite and compound, regarded as exponents of syntactic relationship between components of the sequence. Compound sequences form a special syntactic category requiring phrase-initial exponence, which may over-ride the phrasing otherwise characteristic of the unit. These techniques are sufficient for the description of particles, verbals and mixed category sequences also; compounds, however, always have a nominal head. The terra 'syntactic tone-phrasing' is given to the system as a whole, Despite superficial resemblances to intonational languages, Zombo is best described as tonal. The main contributions of the thesis are regarded as i) the isolation of phrasing ii) the description of all items in terms of a maximum of two basic tonal variants, rather than a larger number based on tonetic description only iii) the demonstration of the part played by syntax in the tonal system.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier): https://doi.org/10.25501/SOAS.00029647
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 15:23
URI: https://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/29647

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