Metrical Stress in Dinka

Statement of Responsibility:
Norton, Russell
Date:
2014
Abstract:
This paper investigates stress in Dinka, a Western Nilotic language of South Sudan, with particular concern for the relationship between stress and the three contrastive vowel lengths of Dinka. Starting from impressionistic observation of the timing of syllables, it is argued that Dinka stress is predictable and not contrastive, and that Dinka utterances are parsed into feet of the moraic trochee type, which is extended in a straightforward way to accommodate syllables with three degrees of vowel length. In this parse, monosyllabic stems with a short vowel unexpectedly function as heavy syllables, with evidence of a mora on the final consonant in addition to the mora on the vowel. Postulating the foot in Dinka phonology is defended on the basis of its role in vowel centralisation and raising, intensity and high tone placement, consonant gemination, minimal word size, and the historical development of Dinka’s fusional morphology. It is argued that the realisation of Dinka stress does not use the same salient feature on all stressed syllables, but that in syllables with a medium or long vowel, stress is realised by the intrinsic durational prominence of the vowel, and in syllables with a short vowel, stress is realised by intensity on the final mora or by other prominence-enhancing features.
Extent:
21 pages
Table of Contents:
Abstract
Abbreviations
1 Introduction
2 Stress in the Dinka literature
3 Dinka foot types
4 Final consonants of short stems
5 The foot in Dinka phonology
5.1 Vowel centralisation
5.2 Intensity or high tone
5.3 Changes to stressed auxiliary verbs
5.4 Weighted final consonants and minimal word size
5.5 Morphological type
6 Conclusion
References
Subject:
vowel length
Stress
Prosody
Nilotic
Mora
gemination
foot
Country:
South Sudan
Field:
Subject Languages:
Content Language:
Nature of Work: