Abstract

This article revives old descriptive data on Awa, a Papuan language of the Kainantu group. The tonal system was described in detail in a paper by Loving (1973), where he reports a series of toneless noun suffixes, falling into six classes depending on their tonal alternations when combined with a noun root. This article demonstrates that the suffixes are best understood as carrying lexical tone; the alternations in form arise from the interaction of typologically natural tonotactic constraints. While the system can be described in autosegmental terms without much difficulty, a formal constraint-based analysis is less straightforward. I show that strict ranking, as in optimality theory (Prince & Smolensky 2004 [1993]), fails to capture the data patterns due to cumulativity effects, some of which cannot be naturally captured even with local constraint conjunction (Smolensky 2006). The data are successfully modeled in harmonic grammar (Legendre et al. 1990).

pdf

Additional Information

ISSN
1535-0665
Print ISSN
0097-8507
Pages
pp. e38-e66
Launched on MUSE
2016-03-30
Open Access
No
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.