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LINGUIST List 21.4261

Tue Oct 26 2010

Diss: Phonology: Green: 'Prosodic Phonology in Bamana (Bambara) ...'

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        1.     Christopher Green , Prosodic Phonology in Bamana (Bambara): Syllable complexity, metrical structure, and tone

Message 1: Prosodic Phonology in Bamana (Bambara): Syllable complexity, metrical structure, and tone
Date: 24-Oct-2010
From: Christopher Green <greencrindiana.edu>
Subject: Prosodic Phonology in Bamana (Bambara): Syllable complexity, metrical structure, and tone
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Institution: Indiana University
Program: Department of Linguistics
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2010

Author: Christopher R. Green

Dissertation Title: Prosodic Phonology in Bamana (Bambara): Syllable complexity, metrical structure, and tone

Linguistic Field(s): Phonology

Subject Language(s): Bambara (bam)
Language Family(ies): Mande

Dissertation Director:
Stuart Davis
Samuel G. Obeng
Kenneth De Jong
Lee Bickmore
Daniel A. Dinnsen

Dissertation Abstract:

This dissertation characterizes three components of prosodic phonology,
namely syllable structure, metrical structure, and tone, in Bamana
(Bambara), a Mande language of West Africa, and its related varieties. Of
primary interest is the Colloquial (non-standard) variety of Bamana spoken
in Bamako, Mali, by a young cohort of individuals. It is shown that
Colloquial Bamana differs in significant ways from other phonologically
conservative or normative varieties of the language, most noticeably in its
inventory of permitted complex syllable shapes. This thesis illustrates
that the synchronic emergence of complex syllables in this language variety
is bounded and restricted by higher prosodic structure in the language. It
is demonstrated that prosodic domains in the form of disyllabic metrical
feet are present in the language and play a role in driving the outcome of
two complementary and at times competing processes of segmental reduction
that are active in generating the noted complex syllable types. The overall
goal of this thesis is to describe and analyze the mechanisms underlying
these processes and prohibitions and to explore the implications that their
presence has for both descriptive and theoretical phonology, as well as for
phonological change in this and other related Mande languages.

Alongside these explorations into syllable complexity and metrical
structure, this dissertation sheds new light on the tonal phonology of
Bamana, a subject that has been shrouded in controversy for many years. By
considering the tonal results or consequences of segmental minimization in
Colloquial Bamana, the thesis offers new ideas on structures, processes,
and changes underway in the language's tonology. Topics explored in detail
include tonal feet, tonal compactness, and tonal word melodies.

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