LINGUIST List 13.1053

Tue Apr 16 2002

Diss: Phonology: Lukusa "Autosegmental..."

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  1. lukusast, Phonology: Lukusa "Autosegmental Approach to Ciluba..."

Message 1: Phonology: Lukusa "Autosegmental Approach to Ciluba..."

Date: Mon, 15 Apr 2002 17:59:37 +0000
From: lukusast <>
Subject: Phonology: Lukusa "Autosegmental Approach to Ciluba..."

New Dissertation Abstract

Institution: Lancaster University
Program: Department of Linguistics and Modern English Language
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 1993
Author: Stephen T.M. Lukusa 

Dissertation Title: 
An Autosegmental Approach to Ciluba Nominal and Verbal Tonology 

Linguistic Field: Phonology

Dissertation Director 1: F. X. Katamba 

Dissertation Abstract: 

Bantu prosodic systems have often been classified into two major
groups: tonal and accentual languages. The present study aims at
achieving an adequate description of the prosodic system of Ciluba. It
avoids siding with either the tonal or the accentual approach by
viewing this language as a hybrid system in which accent and tone

The theoretical framework adopted to this end is a combination of
Autosegmental Phonology and Lexical Phonology. The material forming
the thesis is presented in seven chapters. The first chapter, which is
introductory, covers the preliminaries needed for a better
comprehension of the thesis.

The second chapter focuses on the morphology of the noun and the
verb. It describes both of them as built by stratal addition of
affixes (namely, extensions, final vowels/vowel suffixes,
reduplicates, and prefixes).

The third chapter opens with the feature geometry in which features
are organized hierarchically, forming thus subsets or natural classes
on which phonological rules operate. It the applies this geometry to
describing the Ciluba sound system and in formalizing the phonological
rules. In this geometry, tones appear on a separate tier and are
associated directly with moras which serve both as Tone-bearing units
and timing units.

The fourth chapter presents, for expository reasons, a purely tonal
description of the noun to highlight its inadequacy. It then switches
to a more transparent and straightforward approach combing tone and
accent. Within this combines framework, underlying HL melodies are
assigned to accented positions in the word. These underlying signposts
help to predict tonal behaviour at the surface level.

The experimental work reported in the fifth chapter has used spoken
material to build a tonological database serving as a reliable basis
for generalizations and observations correlating tone and other
parameters. It comes up with the following findings: (i) H tones have
higher FO than L tones. (ii) Consonant voicing decreases FO
value. (iii) Under the effect of tonal downdrift, H tones may become
lower than L tones when they follow them. (iv) L tones are outnumbered
by H tones in Ciluba. (v) Heavy syllables have a longer duration than
light ones. (vi) Contour tones often co-occur with heavy syllables
(vii) The mora is the tone-bearing unit in Ciluba. (viii) There is a
great association between tone and vowel height, though the
correlation between the latter and FO value has not been
confirmed. (ix) Association between tone and consonant voicing is
significant. (x) Tone and syllable weight are also

The sixth chapter discusses first the interaction of phonology with
syntax. It presents phrasal prominence (i) in terms of the feature
[focus], (ii) in terms of the metrical rhythm, (iii) in terms of the
syntactic boundaries that determine domains of tonal rule application,
and (iv) in terms of movements of syntactic constituents. The chapter
then turns to rule ordering as defended nowadays in lexical
phonology. It ends by showing that, though the lexicon provides Ciluba
tonal information, tones remain unassociated until all cyclic rules
have taken place, before the syntactic module. The last chapter sums
up the thesis and concludes it.
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