NP internal syntax: High tone and quantifier conditions

Ronald P. Schaefer, Francis O. Egbokhare


This paper applies a model of tonosyntax designed for the Dogon languages to Emai, another language of West Africa that belongs to the Edoid group. The Dogon model aligns with and diverges from the tonosyntax of Emai. In Dogon noun phrases, an adnominal controller prompts a {L} (low) tone overlay onto the lexical tone of a left-adjacent target. Numerals, quantifiers and discourse markers fail as controllers. In Emai, most adnominals except cardinal numerals and discourse markers trigger a {H} overlay on a left-adjacent head or other adnominal. Emai varies from Dogon on two additional counts. Emai quantifiers prompt tonal overlay. In addition, right edge lexical /H/ constrains {H} overlay. We conclude by positing a potential relation between low {L} vs high {H} overlay and Clements and Railland’s (2008) lax vs tense prosody types.


tonosyntax; replacive tone; reference restrictors; prosody types; Emai; Edoid

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Copyright (c) 2019 Ronald P. Schaefer, Francis O. Egbokhare

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