An autosegmental analysis of tone in verbal forms of Lamba

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Mwape, Fenson A.
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This study investigated tone in some verbal forms of Lamba from an autosegmental viewpoint. The aim was to establish the relationship between underlying and surface tone representations in these forms. The dissertation comprises three chapters. Chapter One, the Introduction, presents the background to the study and discusses, among other things, Zambia's language-education policy and the position of Lamba therein. This chapter also reviews the relevant literature and gives a brief outline of the major tenets of the theoretical model the study employs -Autosegmental Phonology. Chapter Two discusses the tonology of the Lamba verb. Rules are applied to account for the relationship between underlying and superficial tone patterns. Firstly it is established that, tonally, there are two types of verbs in Lamba, vizf those with a high-toned first syllable of the radical and those with a low-toned one. Following Mtenje's analysis (see Miti, 1988; ) the former are regarded as H verbs while the latter are L ones. This chapter also establishes that there are five types of tonal rules in the Lamba verb: rules of tone shift (regressive and progressive), rules of tone lowering, rules of tone raising, rules of tone imposition (or insertion) and rules of tone spreading. All the rules discussed fall in these types. It was further noted that some tonal rules are category-sensitive in that they apply only to specific categories while others apply to several. Chapter Three is the conclusion. This chapter presents a summary of the findings and evaluates the major features of Autosegmental Phonology, yj^tone spreading, tone stability, contour tone and floating tones. Except perhaps for floating tones whose occurrence may only be associated with imposed tones, there is strong evidence for the occurrence of all the other features. On the whole, the study has accounted for the underlying and surface tone patterns in the Lamba verb. The study has also established the existence of an inextricable link between morphological and phonological segmental processes on one hand and phonological tonal processes on the other. The study also confirms the strength of the Autosegmental approach in the analysis of tonal phenomena.
Tone(Phonetics)--Lamba--Zambia , African languages