Date: 15-Dec-2006 From: Ulrich Lueders <lincom.europat-online.de> Subject: Tonal Morphology of the Setswana Verb: Creissels (Ed)
Title: Tonal Morphology of the Setswana Verb
Series Title: LINCOM Studies in African Linguistics 13
Publisher: Lincom GmbH
Editor: DENIS CREISSELS
Paperback: ISBN: 3895861723 Pages: 230 Price: Europe EURO 72.00
Like many Bantu languages, Setswana is remarkable for the complexity of its tonal morphology, particularly in the verb system. This work provides the first comprehensive study of verb tonology in Setswana, a language of the Sotho group spoken in Botswana and South Africa. The author, a major contributor to general and African linguistics, and his two co-authors develop a domain-based approach to Setswana tonology which is particularly relevant to recent developments in the theoretical study of tone. It is shown that most tonal alternations observed in the morphology of the Setswana verb can be described as expansions or retractions of high tone domains, but that segmentally and tonally empty syllables must be posited in underlying representations in order to achieve an optimal account of the tonal phenomena in question.
After presenting a general introduction of the framework and the language, Creissels et al. provide separate chapters analyzing the tonology of individual tenses in the language. The result is a model that can be profitably applied to the description and explanation of other Bantu languages where underlying high tones have been clained to contrast with zero.