Aspects of Syntactic tones in Lozi

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Kamwengo, Monica Mataa
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This study investigates the aspects of syntactic tone in Lozi. It looks at the tones of words in citation form and what happens when they are placed in context. This involves two levels. The first is the Phonological level where the tones of words in each word class were marked for tone. The second was the Syntactic level which involved putting the words into different syntactic frames to show how the tone of the words change when put together and also how they influence the pronunciation of a phrase or sentence in Lozi. This was a descriptive approach which used an informant's understanding and interpretation of the standard use of the language. The data was obtained by using an interview guide which comprised of two parts. One section had lists of words in citation form grouped according to their word classes. The second had the different words put in different syntactic frames. The informants were required to read the lists aloud. The technique of observing and recording the conversations in their natural environment were crucial in capturing the correct tone of the language. 10 informants who spoke the standard Lozi were sampled from the urban areas of Lusaka and Mongu.After analysing the data, the results were conclusive with the stated objectives and research questions which were set out in the introduction. It was discovered that the syntactic tones of some words in citation form did change when put in context. This depended on a number of factors (a) the number of syllables in a word affected the tone groups of the words (b) the position of the tones of a word affected the tone groups of the surrounding words in context (c) the syntactic frame or word order influenced the tone groups of the words and (d) the type of sentence caused changes in the tonal group of the words. This was a descriptive study focusing on the aspects of syntactic tone in Lozi but more work is needed to look into particular word classes on all the levels of linguistics to fully appreciate tone. It requires more funding and appreciation of local languages.
Linguistics-Zambia , Languages-Zambia