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The tonology of Khoekhoe (Nama/Damara)

Haacke, Wilfrid Heinrich Gerhard; (1993) The tonology of Khoekhoe (Nama/Damara). Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

This thesis investigates the tonal system of Khoekhoegowab or Khoekhoe, a Central Khoesaan language spoken in Namibia, and formerly known as Nama/Damara. The data for the research, particularly on lexical tonology, is drawn from a lexicographic project which was instituted by the author in 1981. Observations are based on a total perusal of the near-complete database by means of computer. Chapter 2, following on an introductory chapter, presents an instrumental analysis of the surface tone of radicals, on the grounds of which a four-tone system previously established by the author is refined and defended against other systems. Arguments are presented in favour of a register system as opposed to a contour system, i.e. that a tonal melody consists of a sequence of two level tonemes. In addition to the six major citation melodies and their sandhi versions, some residual melodies are identified, which are due to former depressor segments. An underlying feature system is then established, which is able to account for the existence of subsidiary melodies and some perturbational behaviour, showing that these are due to tonogenesis typologically akin to that of South-East Asian languages. Chapter 3 deals with the formation of compound words and derivations in the realm of lexical tonology. The occurrence of the different perturbational processes is investigated, which, next to regular sandhi changes i.a. involve flip-flop rules as known from Chinese. Unlike the neighbouring Bantu languages, Khoekhoe uses paradigmatic displacement of melodies in cyclic application, rather than syntagmatic feature-changing rules. Chapter 4 presents an overview of the post-lexical tonology with regard to the major syntactic structures. It is demonstrated that Khoekhoe corroborates a universal, namely that tonal domains coincide with syntactic domains that commence with a double left bracket (( in a bracketed representation of an IC structure. In Khoekhoe the leftmost constituent receives the citation melody, while subsequent constituents receive the sandhi melody. Khoekhoe tonology has semantic as well as syntactic and derivational functions.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: The tonology of Khoekhoe (Nama/Damara)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest.
Keywords: Language, literature and linguistics; Khoesaan language; Namibia
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10104476
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