Disambiguating grammatical tone in Gwere orthography by using clarifying words

Statement of Responsibility:
Nzogi, Richard
Authors:
Series Issue:
2009-003
Date:
2009
Part Of Series:
SIL Electronic Working Papers 2009-003
Extent:
11 pages
Abstract:

In designing an orthography for a tone language, prescribing a satisfactory method of marking essential tone can be a challenge. The conventional methods of dealing with tone are zero marking, accent marks, or other diacritic symbols, and syntactic or spelling rules. This article, based on the author’s experience in Gwere, suggests a novel way of signaling grammatical tone and meaning by using only “clarifying words” inserted before a tonally ambiguous word to give a clue to the surface tone of that word. This document also considers the advantages of clarifying words over conventional tone-marking schemes. Finally, some consideration is given to the limitations of using clarifying words to signal tone in other languages.

Publication Status:
Published
Country:
Uganda
Subject Languages:
Content Language:
Field:
Work Type:
Subject:
Tone
grammatical tone
clarifying words
Nature of Work:
Entry Number:
7841
Files:
AttachmentSize
silewp2009_003.pdf474.78 KB