ERIC Number: ED338062
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Jul
Reference Count: N/A
The Role of Tone in Some Cushitic Languages.
Appleyard, David L.
York Papers in Linguistics, v15 p5-32 Jul 1991
The morphological function of tone/accent is examined in a number of Cushitic languages, with the objective of determining whether any comparative statement can be made validly at the group level. Three languages, the Somali dialect cluster, Afar, and Oromo, are the basis for the study. Patterns in case, gender, and the jussive form are analyzed. It is concluded that tone/accent does play an important role in the morphology of these languages, and that it is to some extent possible to reconstruct tone/accent as a morphological device for earlier stages in their history. At these earlier stages, it is likely that tone/accent did not function as a morphological device on its own, but formed an intrinsic part of inflectional affixes in addition to being associated with root categories at the lexical level. It is also seen as likely that the type of accentual system to be reconstructed for earlier languages should be the same as that which exists currently in many Cushitic languages, i.e., a simple two-term mora-counting system. (MSE)
Publication Type: Journal Articles
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Cushitic Languages; Gender (Language); Oromo
Note: In: "Grammatical Phonetics: Studies in Honour of Jack Carnochan" (see FL 019 768).