The Tonal Residue of the Conjoint/Disjoint Alternation in Rukiga


  • Jenneke van der Wal Leiden University
  • Allen Asiimwe Makerere University


tone;, focus;, Bantu;, conjoint/disjoint;, phrasing


The Bantu language Rukiga (JE14, Uganda) shows tonal reduction on the verb in a subset of tenses, similar to the conjoint/disjoint alternation in Haya. Whereas in other languages the conjoint/disjoint alternation is usually marked by segmental morphology in at least one tense, Rukiga is unique in showing only tonal reduction. Nevertheless, our analysis shows that tonal reduction in Rukiga is not merely a phonological rule, but it encodes the conjoint/disjoint alternation. Furthermore, we show that tonal reduction in Rukiga is determined by constituent-finality, and there is no direct relation to focus