LINGUIST List 13.1329

Sun May 12 2002

Qs: Compounds/Creole, African Tones

Editor for this issue: Karen Milligan <>

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  1. Joseph T. Farquharson, Compounding in Creole Languages
  2. Tomasz Wisniewski, Some questions about African tones

Message 1: Compounding in Creole Languages

Date: Thu, 09 May 2002 16:40:27 +0000
From: Joseph T. Farquharson <>
Subject: Compounding in Creole Languages

There has been little research in the area of compounding (as a
word-formation process) in Creole languages. In fact, most of the
studies which exist focus on English (Selkirk, Matthews, etc.) I am
currently undertaking a study of compound words in Jamaican Creole and
I would like to know if anyone out there can lead me to useful sources
on compounding in general and with specific reference to Creoles. I
am also interested in 'calques', 'semantic transparency', and
'synthetic compounds'.

Joseph T. Farquharson
Junior Creolist		

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Message 2: Some questions about African tones

Date: Fri, 10 May 2002 15:31:35 +0000
From: Tomasz Wisniewski <>
Subject: Some questions about African tones

I hope that some of you could perhaps help me to solve the following
problems. Much has been written about tones in African languages, but
I cannot find certain information anywhere.

1. Is the origin of tones known? I guess it's no accident that most
languages have only open syllables, but if finals determine the tone,
how are they related to particular tones? (Like in Vietnamese
supposedly lost stops result in a rising tone and a lost fricative in
a falling tone.)

2. Why some languages have three levels (or more?) and some only two?
Is e.g. Yoruba middle tone a development from a 2-tone system (so
initially an allotone), or does it descend from another type of
syllable than the other two?

3.In a three level system what are the features of the tones (here I
mean marked features in binary opposition like +periferal -periferal

I will appreciate you responses very much.

Tomasz Wisniewski 
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