Tone Polarity in Kɔnni nouns.pdf


  • Michael Cahill


tone polarity, tone dissimilation, OCP, K, mni


Since Kenstowicz et at's analysis of Moore (1988), a widespread view is that tone polarity does not exist; apparent polarity is actually dissimilation. This paper shows that an OCP-based dissimilation analysis cannot account for the full range of K:mni data, and presents a morpheme-specific POLAR constraint referring to the Noun Class 1 plural suffix. POLAR is satisfied in two or possibly three ways: the polar tone may be inserted, be already present in the input, or possibly spread from the definite suffix. The polar tone is not always on the word's edge, and for some words may even be floating. The analysis here thus supports the assertion of Newman (1995) that tone polarity is a natural pattern of language.