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Songs in African Tonal Languages: Contrasting the Tonal System and the Melody

  • Maria Konoshenko
  • Olga KuznetsovaEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Communications in Computer and Information Science book series (CCIS, volume 561)

Abstract

Over the past fifty years there has been a dramatic increase in studies investigating the rules of tone-tune correspondence in vocal music performed in tonal languages. In this paper we argue that considering structural properties of tonal systems is important for studying the interaction between tone and melody. Using songs in Guinean Kpelle and Guro as test cases, we prove that contour tones are less preserved in melody than level tones, and surface tones are reflected in melody rather than underlying tones. We also show that syllable structure as well as style, genre and structure of songs affect tone-tune correspondence.

Keywords

Tone Phonology Contour tones Underlying tones Surface tones Syllable structure Vocal music Melody Genre Guinean Kpelle Guro 

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Sholokhov Moscow State University for the HumanitiesMoscowRussia
  2. 2.Institute for Linguistic Studies RASSaint-PetersburgRussia

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