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Intonation in Luo

Ombijah, Zilpah Saul (2020) Intonation in Luo. PhD thesis, University of Essex.

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Abstract

This thesis investigates the intonation of Luo. It shows how intonation distinguishes sentences. It also investigates how information structure (i.e. focus, dislocations and topics) is intonationally cued in a sentence. The aim is to establish the phonological and phonetic representation of Luo intonation by examining the factors that contribute to the observed F0 contours. Data were collected in Rorya and Tarime districts in Tanzania, where Luo is predominantly spoken. The materials designed comprise of scripted Luo sentences, Swahili sentences to be translated into Luo and picture-based tasks. The analysis is based on the Auto-segmental metrical theory which maps phonological elements to continuous acoustic parameters (Ladd, 1996, 2008). It is found that Luo is a tone-terracing language with four lexical tones: High, Low, Falling and Rising. The observed downtrends are downstep, declination and final lowering. Downstep is the most significant process, contrasting automatic and non-automatic downstep. The latter has no evidence of floating L and thus attributed to right edge boundary effect. Declination is observed in all-High and all-Low tone sequences, as a phonetic effect. Final lowering is also observed as a final effect in both declaratives and questions. Downstep is also a final effect triggered by a boundary L%. Questions are produced with Pitch Range Expansion triggered by a left edge -H intonational tone. There is no prominence on focused constituents but focus constructions are produced with a higher register. Luo dislocations are asymmetrical, with right dislocations phrased with the main clause while left dislocations are phrased separately from the main clause. Complex clauses, except complementizer clauses, are recursive.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Language and Linguistics, Department of
Depositing User: Zilpah Ombijah
Date Deposited: 03 Nov 2020 09:54
Last Modified: 03 Nov 2020 09:54
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/29013

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