Tone association and F₀ timing in Chichewa


  • Scott Myers


Chichewa, Bantu, tone


In Chichewa (Bantu, Malawi), a high tone is realized as a peak in fundamental frequency (fO). In this study, the timing of fO peaks relative to the duration of the high-toned syllable was measured for high tones in phrase-medial, -penultimate and -final positions. No phonetic support was found for the assumption in the literature that a phrase-medial high tone is spread over two syllables. Instead, it was found that such a high tone is realized with a significantly later fO peak than a high tone in the last two syllables. On the other hand, support was found for Kanerva's proposal that a phrase-final high tone is shifted in phonological representation to the phrase-penultimate syllable.