Linguistik-Klassifikation: Morphologie / Morphology
Tonal focus reflections in Buli and some Gur relatives
- Buli is an Oti-Volta tone language spoken in Northern Ghana. This paper outlines the basic features of its tonal system and explores whether and in which way pitch respectively phonemic tone is approached as a means to indicate the pragmatic category of focus. Pursued are cases with focus-related surface tone changes as well as cases where pitch could help to disambiguate between broad and narrow foci. It is argued that focus is not consistently encoded by pitch or tone. Parallel findings for the closely related languages Kopen o (phonetic symbol)nni and Dagbani suggest that the apparent lack of significant prosodic focus signals in Buli might pertain to a larger group of tonal languages of the Gur family.