Polar Question Intonation in Kɔnni

Authors:
Date:
2012
Abstract:
This is a preliminary study on the phonology of polar (yes/no) question intonation in Konni (Gur, northern Ghana). Polar questions lengthen the final vowel or nasal, which exhibits a falling final pitch of varying characteristics. In "surprise" questions (those expressing surprise at the situation), the entire register is higher than that of the neutral polar question. The falling tone is described in terms of adding extra tonal autosegments, the specifics depending on the tones already present. In some H-final sentences, a LH tone is added. In another set, only a L tone is added, but in the "surprise question" form, LH is added. In statements ending with Low, the pitch is raised and then lowered, showing that a HLH is added. Most polar questions also exhibit a small but consistent "upflip" at the end.
Extent:
pp. 90-98
Subject:
Tone
polar question
Konni (kma)
Intonation
Gur
Country:
Ghana
Field:
Subject Languages:
Content Language:
Nature of Work:
Relation Text:
Marlo, Michael R. et al., ed., Selected Proceedings of the 42nd Annual Conference on African Linguistics: African Languages in Context