Tonal Morphology of the Setswana Verb
Denis Creissels et al.
Like many Bantu languages, Setswana is remarkable for the complexity of its tonal morphology, particularly in the verb system. This stuy provides the first comprehensive study of verb tonology in Setswana, a language of the Sotho group spoken in Botswana asnd South Africa. Prof. Creissles, 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 pr 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 applie to the description and explanation of other Bantu languages where underlying high tones have been clained to contrast with zero.
Ed. by Francis Katamba, Lancaster University.
ISBN 9783895861727. LINCOM Studies in African Linguistics 13. 230pp. 1997.