Tone-accent and prosodic domains in Wolaitta

Azeb Amha


In Wolaitta, an Omotic language spoken in the south-central part of Ethiopia. simple phonological words are usually restricted to one high tone-accent per word. Nouns and adjectives have a similar tone-accent pattern, while verb roots differ from these in many respects. Morphology may alter the pattern in simple lexical forms in the sense that derivation and inflection may result in the presence of more than one high tone-accent in a word or, alternatively, in that they cause shift of the original tone accent. In nouns this depends on definiteness and the location of tone-accent in the citation form, while in verbs it is determined by the presence or absence of high tone-accent on the verb root and the type of suffix attached to it. High tone-accent marking in phrases can be predicted from the tone-accent pattern of the citation form of the modifier(s).

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