This study analyzes intonational patterns at the right edge of the intonation unit (IU) in Totoli. Based on a corpus of (semi)spontaneous discourse, I present a model of the IU. I have identified a set of three tonal patterns marking the rightedge boundary. These three patterns, in combination with the rarely occurring discourse markers, suffice to describe the tonal events at the right edge of the IU in Totoli. By analyzing the phonetic realization of the boundary-tone complexes, segmental content was revealed not to influence the alignment but only the shape of the tonal contours. The two main exceptions responsible for alternation are the presence of long vowels and the variability in syllabification. Regarding distributional evidence, tail–head linkage constructions provide evidence for the boundary-tone complexes, as tails and heads differ systematically in their prosodic realization. With evidence from tail–head linkage, I also show that the functions of two of the three intonational patterns pertain to signaling finality, while the third is specialized for nonfinal elements of lists.


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 103-132
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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.