Lexical extraprosodicity in Chilungu


  • Lee S. Bickmore
  • Michael T. Doyle


Chilungu, Bantu, tone, extraprosodicity, prosody


Nouns in Chilungu, a Bantu language spoken in Zambia, exhibit more tonal distinctions synchronically than exist in many modern Bantu languages. There exists a five-way distinction in nouns with CVCV sterns and a four-way distinction in nouns with monosyllabic stems. We show that any synchronic analysis which assumes a two-way tonal distinction for each Tone Bearing Unit (e.g., H vs. L, or H vs. ¢) cannot predict the attested number of surface tonal patterns. We avoid this dilemma by proposing that the final mora of certain noun roots is extraprosodic. This assumption not only correctly predicts the attested surface patterns, but results in rules which are well-motivated both theoretically and typologically (in Bantu). We argue that lexical conditioning of extraprosodicity is a natural outgrowth of prosodic theory, parallel to the use of lexical stress and lexical accent.