Tone in the Makonde dialects Chimaraba


  • David Odden


tone, Chimaraba, Makonde, extraprosodicity, final syllable


This study presents data and an analysis of tone in the Chimaraba dialects of Makonde. It is shown that, as in many Bantu languages of Southern Tanzanian, verbs in Makonde have no lexical tone properties. Verb stems all select a single H tone, which is then mapped to some stem vowel, or is deleted, depending on the tense of the verb. Theoretical issues arise in the course of the investigation. The question of adjacency constraints in phonology is raised: Meeussen's Rule in Makonde requires that the involved tones be in adjacent syllables, although they need not be on adjacent morae. We also find evidence for treating the final syllable as extratonal. Since extratonality is rarer than extrametricality in stress systems, every example of extratonality has the potential to contribute to the theory of extraprosodicity.