Consonant-Tone Interaction in Saxwe

Date:
2012
Date Created:
2010
Publisher:
Cascadilla Press
Part Of Series:
Selected Proceedings of the 42nd Annual Conference on African Linguistics, ed. Michael R. Marlo et al., 55-69. Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Proceedings Project. www.lingref.com, document #2758.
Extent:
pages 55-69
Abstract:
Consonants affect tonal patterns in several ways in Saxwe, a Kwa language spoken in Benin. In monomorphemic nouns and verbs, a two-way division is seen in the way that an underlying low or high-toned melody is realized, depending on the nature of the consonant involved. In this division, voiceless obstruents and the retroflex coronal stop are always opposed to voiced obstruents, while sonorants vary in their alignment. High-tone spread is iterative and is blocked by voiced obstruents. Low-tone spread is a one-time spread that occurs as either 1) spread of a regular low tone across a voiced obstruent, or 2) partial spread of a downstepped low tone across any voiced consonant resulting in a rising pitch. Voiced obstruents trigger a lowering of register for the immediately following low tone. This process can be recursive. This study concludes that an explanation of the Saxwe tone system necessitates a theoretical framework that both allows the interpretation of register to be relative and provides a mechanism for the register-lowering effect of voiced obstruents in Saxwe.
Publication Status:
Published
Country:
Benin
Subject Languages:
Content Language:
Field:
Work Type:
Subject:
Tone
Saxwe
Language documentation
Gbe
consonant-tone interaction
Nature of Work:
Entry Number:
52119