OLAC Record

Title:Tone in Me'en: Description and Theoretical Account

(From the Introduction)

The purpose of this thesis is to describe and account for the main phenomena of Me’en tone. Me’en utilizes three surface-phonemic levels of tone on the word-level, low (L), high (H) and superhigh (S). Apart from these, there are additional phrase-tone phenomena that within certain contexts and environments render an extra low (Lx) and an extra superhigh (Sx) level.

To my knowledge extensive research on tone in Surmic (cf Surmic subclassification, figure 1) has neither been published for the other two south-eastern branches (Tirma-Chai-Mursi, cf Bryant unpublished:28-30 on Tirma tone, Last and Lucassen 1998:381 on Chai tone, and Kwegu-Muguji, cf Hieda 1998:346 on Kwegu tone), nor for northern Surmic. On tone in south-western Surmic more has been written, in particular on Tennet by Randal 1995:73-98 (for observations on Baale tone cf Moges Yigezu and Dimmendaal 1998:288f). For Me’en itself two papers on tone have been published. One is on “mid-tone phenomena” (Diehl 2002, where the author had called mid what he now calls high, and high what he now calls superhigh). The other article (Diehl 2007) elaborates on the effect of so-called tonally retroactive morphemes (TRM, cf section 2.2.1), one of the three sub-topics discussed in the first paper.

After introducing information on the language area and the linguistic classification of Me’en, its phoneme inventory, its main typological features and the origin of the data presented here, chapter II gives a description of the main tonal phenomena. Next to providing brief evidence for tonal contrast, various word-classes will be examined pertaining to their basic surface-phonemic structure. Here special attention is given to lexical tone on nouns and grammatical tone on verbs. The chapter closes by a description of morphotonological processes.

Chapter III tries to uncover the underlying structure of the surface-phonemic phenomena described in chapter II, and presents a set of rules that account for such surface-phonemic output. After applying the theory to the language data, alternative theories are discussed. Chapter IV points to unresolved issues and potential areas for further research.

Contributor (author):Diehl, Achim
Date (W3CDTF):2008
Description (URI):http://www.sil.org/resources/archives/59363
Extent:71 pages
Language (ISO639):eng
Spatial Coverage (ISO3166):ET
Subject:Me'en language
Subject (ISO639):mym
Type (DCMI):Text
Type (OLAC):language_description


Archive:  SIL Language and Culture Archives
Description:  http://www.language-archives.org/archive/sil.org
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OaiIdentifier:  oai:sil.org:59363
DateStamp:  2013-04-27
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Search Info

Citation: Diehl, Achim. 2008. SIL Language and Culture Archives.
Terms: area_Africa area_Europe country_ET country_GB dcmi_Text iso639_eng iso639_mym olac_language_description

Inferred Metadata

Country: Ethiopia
Area: Africa

Up-to-date as of: Mon Jun 15 5:46:39 EDT 2015