The lexical phonology of Bakoko

Ph.D., University of Buea
xvi, 329 pages
This thesis aims at providing a detailed phonological analysis of Bakoko, a narrow Bantu language spoken in Cameroon. The main claim made here is that a stratally organized model of phonology is better suited to deal successfully with the segmental, syllabic and tonal phenomena displayed by the language. More specifically, it is argued that the phonology of Bakoko consists of two non cyclic lexical strata and a postlexical component which can be further subdivided into two strata: postlexical one (P1) and postlexical two (P2). Unlike P2, P1 is a postlexical stratum which is nevertheless sensitive to lexical information. The thesis provides evidence that, prior to the affixation of stratum one formatives, the underived lexical item (root) is scanned by the phonology. Then, the stem (i.e. the root plus extensions or final vowel) and the suffixed tense markers are derived at stratum one. The pre-stem material, that is, the subject marker and the tense markers in the verb forms and the noun class prefixes in the nominal forms, undergo the stratum two rules. These two strata are claimed to be autonomous blocks with their own properties. Boundary tones are postulated for some tenses between the inflectional formatives and the stem. Such tones (when they are high) dock to the right, attracted by the root which is a prominent position. ...
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Underspecification theory
Obligatory Contour Principle
feature geometry
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