Abstract

Lexical tone melodies of words and word strings in Dogon languages are overridden by syntactically conditioned word-level or broader tone overlays. In Ben Tey and other Dogon languages, certain NP-internal elements—possessors, adjectives, relative clauses, demonstratives—are controllers, imposing overlays such as {L} and {HL} on adjacent words or word strings (the targets). Other elements (nonsingular quantifiers, discourse-functional morphemes) do not control overlays. The semantic generalization is that reference restrictors are controllers, while non-reference restrictors are not. Tonosyntactic processes have access to input stem-class categories and semantic/pragmatic groupings thereof, input phonological features (tone of the adjacent edge of the controllers), prosodic weight of the target, and, with possible minor exceptions, linear adjacency. Such operations can only be accounted for in a model of grammar with an enriched syntax-phonology interface.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1535-0665
Print ISSN
0097-8507
Pages
pp. 265-296
Launched on MUSE
2013-06-18
Open Access
No
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