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Working Papers of the Cornell Phonetics Lab No. 6, Oct 1991 - The Tonal Phonology of Llogoori: A Study of Llogoori Verbs

Leung, Elizabeth Woon-Yee

This issue of the Working Papers consists of a single study: Elizabeth Leung's 1986 M.A. thesis, a phonological study of the
Llogoori language of Kenya.

The reader may ask why this work is being made available to a wider public after a delay of five years. Elizabeth Leung's study constitutes the first extensive linguistic description of a language whose basic structural features are still unfamiliar to Bantuists and other linguists. Thus, any information that can be made available on this language is of importance to Bantu studies. Beyond this, however, Leung's study goes well beyond the requirements of rudimentary description, consisting not only of a clear and well-exemplified presentation of major phonological (and morphological) features of the language, but of a carefully worked out and internally consistent analysis, one of the first comprehensive. treatments of a Bantu language within the framework of an early 1980's model of nonlinear phonology.

In addition to its descriptive interest, this work provides new evidence for the nature of tonal representation in Bantu languages.
It is known that the languages of this group vary along a scale from pure tonal systems with an underlying contrast between H (high) tone, L (low) tone, and zero tone, to "tonal accent" systems contrasting H tone with its absence. Llogoori appears to lie on a mid-point on this scale.

The working paper introduction is copyrighted 1991 by the Cornell Phonetics Lab, and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) - see The enclosed Masters Thesis is copyrighted 1986 by Dr. Elizabeth Woon-Yee Leung.
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