This paper presents a description and analysis of the tonal system of Moro, a Kordofanian language of Sudan, showing that the distribution of H(igh) tone is sensitive to a number of morphological and prosodic factors. First, we demonstrate that the distribution of H on nouns is sensitive to the OCP, both within roots and with affixes. Nouns also exhibit lexical distinctions between forms that exhibit unbounded rightward spreading of H and those that show no spreading. We model this distinction using cophonologies. While the distribution of H on Moro verb stems bears some similarities to nouns, crucial differences emerge. Rightward H tone spreading is binary on verbs, and sensitive to the weight of the syllable in terms of both the presence of an onset and a coda. We model this effect as H tone spreading within a binary foot. Furthermore, unlike nouns, underlying representations play little role in the distribution of H on verb roots. H tone is predictably distributed within a morphological category, the derived stem (D-stem), similar to a constituent recognized in Bantu languages (e.g. Downing 2000). Finally, we analyze competition between H associated with the D-stem and H associated with affixes. This H tone competition is an OCP-driven effect occurring within the macrostem.
Alderete, John D., and Stefan A. Frisch. 2007. Dissimilation in grammar and the lexicon. In The Cambridge handbook of phonology, ed. Paul de Lacy, 379–398. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Anttila, Arto. 2002. Morphologically conditioned phonological alternations. Natural Language & Linguistic Theory 20: 1–42.
Anttila, Arto. 2009. Derived environment effects in colloquial Helsinki Finnish. In The nature of the word: Essays in honor of Paul Kiparsky, eds. Kristin Hanson and Sharon Inkelas, 433–460. Cambridge: MIT Press.
Anttila, Arto, and Adams Bodomo. 2007. OCP effects in Dagaare. Paper presented at the 81st annual meeting of the Linguistic Society of America, Anaheim, CA.
Bickmore, Lee. 1989. Tone in Kinyambo. In Vol. 6 of Current approaches to African linguistics, eds. Laurice Tuller and Isabelle Häik, 19–26. New York: Mouton de Gruyter.
Bickmore, Lee. 1999. High tone spread in Ekegusii revisited: An optimality theoretic account. Lingua 109: 109–153.
Bickmore, Lee. 2000. Downstep and fusion in Namwanga. Phonology 17: 297–331.
Bickmore, Lee. 2003. The use of feet to account for binary tone spreading. In Frankfurter Afrikanistische Blatter 15, ed. Ross-Juliet Anyanwu. Köln: Rudiger Koeppe Verlag.
Bradshaw, Mary. 1998. Tone alternations in the associative construction of Suma. In Language history and linguistic description in Africa, eds. Thomas J. Hinnebusch and Ian Maddieson, 117–125. Trenton: Africa World Press.
Cassimjee, Farida, and Charles Kisseberth. 1998. Optimal domains theory and Bantu tonology: A case study from Isixhosa and Shingazidja. In Theoretical aspects of Bantu tone, eds. Larry Hyman and Charles Kisseberth, 33–132. Stanford: CSLI.
de Lacy, Paul. 2001. Markedness in prominent positions. In MIT working papers in linguistics 40, eds. Ora Matushansky, Albert Costa, Javier Martin-Gonzalez, Nathan Lance, and Adam Szczegielniak, 53–66. Cambridge: MITWPL.
Downing, Laura. 2000. Morphological and prosodic constraints on Kinande verbal reduplication. Phonology 17: 1–38.
Downing, Laura. 2003. Stress, tone, and focus in Chichewa and Xhosa. In Stress and tone—the African experience, ed. Ross-Juliet Anyanwu, Vol. 15 of Frankfurter Afrikanistische Blätter. Köln: Rüdiger Köppe Verlag.
Duanmu, San. 1992. An autosegmental analysis of tone in four Tibetan languages. Linguistics of the Tibeto-Burman Area 15: 65–91.
Duanmu, San. 1993. Rime length, stress, and association domains. Journal of East Asian Linguistics 2: 1–44.
Fukazawa, Haruka. 1999. Theoretical implications of OCP effects on features in optimality theory. PhD dissertation, University of Maryland, College Park.
Gibbard, George, Hannah Rohde, and Sharon Rose. 2009. Moro noun class morphology. In Selected proceedings of the 38th annual conference on African linguistics, eds. Masangu Matondo, Fiona McLaughlin, and Eric Potsdam, 106–117. Somerville: Cascadilla Proceedings Project.
Goedemans, Rob. 1998. Weightless segments. The Hague: Holland Academic Graphics.
Goldsmith, John. 1976. Autosegmental phonology. PhD dissertation, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Goldsmith, John. 1984. Meeussen’s rule. In Language sound and structure, eds. Mark Aronoff, Richard Oehrle, Frances Kelley, and Bonnie Stephens, 245–259. Cambridge: MIT.
Goldsmith, John. 1987. Tone and accent, and getting the two together. BLS 14: 88–104.
Gordon, Matthew. 2005. A perceptually-driven account of onset-sensitive stress. Natural Language & Linguistic Theory 23: 595–653.
Hansson, Gunnar Ólafur. 2004. Tone and voicing agreement in Yabem. In Proceedings of the 23rd west coast conference on formal linguistics, eds. Vineeta Chand, Ann Kelleher, Angelo J. Rodríguez, and Benjamin Schmeiser, 318–331. Somerville: Cascadilla.
Heny, Frank. 1971. Explanatory tone assignment rules in Bantu. In Papers in African linguistics: Current inquiry into language and linguistics I, eds. Chin-Wu Kim and Herbert Stahlke, 175–199. Edmonton: Linguistics Research, Inc.
Hyman, Larry M. 1978. Tone and/or accent. In Elements of tone, stress, and intonation, ed. Donna Jo Napoli. Washington: Georgetown University Press.
Hyman, Larry M. 1982. Globality and the accentual analysis of Luganda tone. Journal of Linguistic Research 4: 1–40.
Hyman, Larry M. 1993. Problems for rule ordering in phonology: Two Bantu test cases. In The last phonological rule, ed. John Goldsmith, 195–222. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Hyman, Larry M. 2001. Privative tone in Bantu. In Cross-linguistic studies of tonal phenomena, ed. Shigeki Kaji, 237–257. Tokyo: Institute for the Study of Languages and Cultures.
Hyman, Larry M. 2006. Word-prosodic typology. Phonology 23: 225–257.
Hyman, Larry M., and Ernest Byarushengo. 1984. A model of Haya tonology. In Autosegmental studies in Bantu tone, eds. George N. Clements and John Goldsmith, 55–103. Dordrecht: Foris.
Hyman, Larry M., and Armindo Ngunga. 1994. On the non-universality of tonal association ‘conventions’: Evidence from Ciyao. Phonology 11: 25–68.
Inkelas, Sharon. 1999. Exceptional stress-attracting suffixes in Turkish: Representations vs. the grammar. In The prosody-morphology interface, eds. René Kager, Harry van der Hulst, and Wim Zonneveld, 134–187. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Inkelas, Sharon, and Cheryl Zoll. 2007. Is grammar dependence real? Linguistics 45: 133–171.
Itô, Junko, and Armin Mester. 1994. Reflections on CodaCond and alignment. In Phonology at Santa Cruz 3, eds. Jason Merchant, Jaye Padgett, and Rachel Walker, 27–46. Santa Cruz: Linguistics Research Center.
Itô, Junko, and Armin Mester. 1999. Realignment. In The prosody-morphology interface, eds. René Kager, Harry van der Hulst, and Wim Zonneveld, 188–217. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Kawahara, Shigeto. 2008. On the proper treatment of non-crisp-edges. In Japanese/Korean linguistics 13, eds. Hudson Mutsuko Endo, Peter Sells, and Sun-Ah Jun, 55–67. Stanford: CSLI Publications.
Kawu, Ahmadu. 2000. Structural markedness and non-reduplicative copying. In Proceedings of NELS 20, eds. Juli A. Carter, Rose-Marie Dechaine, William Philip, and Tim D. Sherer, 377–388. Amherst: GLSA.
Kisseberth, Charles, and David Odden. 2003. Tone. In The Bantu languages, eds. Derek Nurse and Gérard Philippson, 59–70. London: Routledge.
Kisseberth, Charles, and Emmanuel Ndabarasa. 1993. Ruciga nominal tonology. Paper presented at the annual conference on African linguistics, The Ohio State University.
Leben, William. 1973. Suprasegmental phonology. PhD dissertation, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Distributed by Indiana University Linguistics Club.
Leben, William. 2003. Tonal feet as tonal domains. In Trends in African linguistics 5: Linguistic typology and representation of African languages, ed. John Mugane, 129–138. Trenton: Africa World Press.
Lubowicz, Ania. 2010. Infixation as morpheme absorption. In Phonological argumentation: Essays on evidence and motivation, ed. Steven Parker. London: Equinox.
McCarthy, John. 2000. Faithfulness and prosodic circumscription. In Optimality theory: Syntax, phonology, and acquisition, eds. Joost Dekkers, Frank van der Leeuw, and Jeroen van de Weijer, 151–189. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
McCarthy, John, and Alan Prince. 1995. Faithfulness and reduplicative identity. In University of Massachusetts occasional papers in linguistics 18: Papers in optimality theory, eds. Jill Beckman, Suzanne Urbanczyk, and Laura Walsh Dickey, 249–384. Amherst: GLSA.
McCawley, John. 1970. Some tonal systems that come close to being pitch accent systems but don’t quite make it. CLS 6: 526–532.
Mmusi, Sheila Onkaetse. 1992. OCP violations in Setswana: Evidence for redefining the OCP? Studies in the Linguistic Sciences 22: 123–142.
Mutaka, Ngessimo. 1994. The lexical tonology of Kinande. Munich: LINCOM Europa.
Mutaka, Ngessimo, and Larry M. Hyman. 1990. Syllables and morpheme integrity in Kinande reduplication. Phonology 7: 73–119.
Mwita, Leonard Chacha. 2008. Verbal tone in Kuria. PhD dissertation, University of California, Los Angeles.
Myers, Scott. 1987. Tone and the structure of words in Shona. PhD dissertation, University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
Myers, Scott. 1991. Persistent rules. Linguistic Inquiry 22: 315–344.
Myers, Scott. 1997. OCP effects in optimality theory. Natural Language & Linguistic Theory 15: 847–892.
Ngunga, Armindo. 2000. Phonology and morphology of the Ciyao verb. Stanford monographs in African language. Stanford: Center for the Study of Language and Information.
Odden, David. 1980. Associative tone in Shona. Journal of Linguistic Research 1: 37–51.
Odden, David. 1986. On the role of the obligatory contour principle in phonological theory. Language 62: 353–383.
Odden, David. 1989. Predictable tone systems in Bantu. In Autosegmental studies on pitch accent systems, eds. Harry van der Hulst and Norval Smith, 225–251. Dordrecht: Foris.
Odden, David. 1994. Adjacency parameters in phonology. Language 70: 289–330.
Odden, David. 1995. The status of onsetless syllables in Kikerewe. OSU Working Papers in Linguistics 47: 89–110.
Odden, David. 1998a. Verbal tone melodies in Kikerewe. In Language history and linguistic description in Africa, eds. Thomas J. Hinnebusch and Ian Maddieson, 177–184. Trenton: Africa World Press.
Odden, David. 1998b. Principles of tone assignment in Tanzanian Yao. In Theoretical aspects of Bantu tone, eds. Larry Hyman and Charles Kisseberth, 265–314. Stanford: CSLI.
Odden, David. 2000. Opacity and ordering: H-deletion in Kikerewe. Linguistic Review 17: 323–335.
Odden, David. 2006. Minimality and onsetless syllables in Zinza. Phonology 23: 431–441.
Orgun, Orhan. 1996. Correspondence and identity constraints in two-level optimality theory. In Proceedings of the 14th west coast conference on formal linguistics, eds. Jose Camacho, Lina Choueiri, and Maki Watanabe 399–413. Stanford: CSLI.
Orie, Olanike. 2000. Syllable asymmetries in comparative Yoruba phonology. Journal of Linguistics 36: 39–84.
Pater, Joe. 2007. The locus of exceptionality: Morpheme-specific phonology as constraint indexation. In University of Massachusetts occasional papers in linguistics 32: Papers in optimality theory III, eds. Leah Bateman, Michael O’Keefe, Ehren Reilly, and Adam Werle, 259–296. Amherst: GLSA, University of Massachusetts.
Pater, Joe. 2009. Morpheme-specific phonology: Constraint indexation and inconsistency resolution. In Phonological argumentation: Essays on evidence and motivation, ed. Steve Parker, Advances in optimality theory, 123–154. London: Equinox.
Pearce, Mary. 2006. The interaction between metrical structure and tone in Kera. Phonology 23.2: 259–286.
Prince, Alan, and Paul Smolensky. 1993. Optimality theory: Constraint interaction in generative grammar. Rutgers University Center for Cognitive Science Technical Report 2.
Savà, Graziano. 2005. A grammar of Ts’amakko. Cologne: Rüdiger Köppe Verlag.
Schadeberg, Thilo. 1978. Über die Töne der nominalen und pronominale Formen im Rimi. Afrika und Übersee 56: 189–209.
Schadeberg, Thilo. 1979. Über die Töne der verbalen Formen im Rimi. Afrika und Übersee 57: 288–313.
Schadeberg, Thilo. 1981. A survey of Kordofanian. Volume 1: The Heiban group. Hamburg: Helmut Buske.
Struijke, Caro. 2002. Existential faithfulness: A study of reduplicative TETU, feature movement, and dissimilation. New York: Routledge.
Suzuki, Keiichiro. 1998. A typological investigation of dissimilation. PhD dissertation, University of Arizona, Sierra Vista, AZ.
Topintzi, Nina. 2003. Issues of locality and morphologically induced non-identity in the N. Karanga assertive and non-assertive patterns. In University College London working papers in linguistics 15, eds. Ad Neeleman and Reiko Vermeulen, 327–354.
Weidman, Scott, and Sharon Rose. 2006. A foot-based reanalysis of edge-in tonal phenomena in Bambara. In Proceedings of the 25 th west coast conference on formal linguistics, eds. Donald Baumer, David Montero, and Michael Scanlon, 426–343. Somerville: Cascadilla Press.
We are immensely grateful to our Moro speakers, Elyasir Julima and Ikhlas Elahmer, for sharing their language with us. We thank audiences at the 45th Annual Meeting of the Chicago Linguistic Society, the Annual Conference on African Linguistics 37 and 40, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of Florida, the University of California, Santa Barbara and Harvard University for useful feedback and comments. We appreciate in-depth comments and discussion from Eric Baković, Larry Hyman, Victor Manfredi, Andrew Nevins, David Odden, and participants in the San Diego Phonology Interest Group and UCSD Phonetics Laboratory meetings. The members of the Moro Language Project, particularly Farrell Ackerman and George Gibbard, helped in numerous, immeasurable ways in both checking the data and refining the analysis. Finally, two anonymous reviewers and the associate editors, Michael Kenstowicz and Junko Itô, provided us with challenging comments and advice for improving the paper, for which we are grateful. Portions of Sect. 4 of this paper will appear with a slightly different analysis under the title ‘Syllable weight and high tone in Moro’ in Proceedings from the Annual Meeting of the Chicago Linguistic Society 45. This material is based upon research supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0745973 ‘Moro Language Project’. Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation (NSF).
About this article
Cite this article
Jenks, P., Rose, S. High tone in Moro: effects of prosodic categories and morphological domains. Nat Lang Linguist Theory 29, 211–250 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11049-011-9120-x
- Morphological domains
- Tone doubling