This study combines a descriptive and theoretical presentation of Kɔnni, a
Gur language of northern Ghana. It presents an Optimality Theory analysis
of the entire phonological system.
The description of noun morphology includes the noun class system, the
reduplicative agentive noun construction, noun-adjective complexes, and
derived nouns. Verbal morphology is comprised of various aspectual
suffixes. The phonological description is separate from the formal OT
analysis in order to facilitate use by those with descriptive interests as
well as theoretical.
The book includes major sections on consonants, vowels, and tone. It also
includes a brief syntax sketch, co-occurrence restrictions, phoneme
frequency counts, phonetic measurements of segment durations and vowel
formants, as well as seven appendices of data. Some specific notes of interest:
*Some phonology is limited to only certain noun classes.
*A pervasive 9-vowel ATR vowel system is analyzed, to which
diphthongization has an integral tie.
*Some vowels assimilate only across consonants with the same place feature.
*The existence of [H!H] on a single TBU is documented.
*Tonal perturbations demand four different underlying representations for
different nouns which all have a surface [LH].
*True tonal polarity, distinct from dissimilation, is argued for.
*Two cases of syntax-phonology interface occur in the vowel system.