Focus and prominence in Chichewa, Chitumbuka and Durban Zulu

  • Much work on the interaction of prosody and focus assumes that, crosslinguistically, there is a necessary correlation between the position of main sentence stress (or accent) and focus, and that an intonational pitch change on the focused element is a primary correlate of focus. In this paper, I discuss primary data from three Bantu languages – Chichewa, Durban Zulu and Chitumbuka – and show that in all three languages phonological re-phrasing, not stress, is the main prosodic correlate of focus and that lengthening, not pitch movement, is the main prosodic correlate of phrasing. This result is of interest for the typology of intonation in illustrating languages where intonation has limited use and where, notably, intonation does not highlight focused information in the way we might expect from European stress languages.

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Author:Laura J. Downing
Parent Title (English):Papers in phonetics and phonology, Zentrum für Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft, Berlin; ZASPil Vol. 49, S. 47-65
Publisher:Zentrum für Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft
Place of publication:Berlin
Document Type:Part of a Book
Year of Completion:2008
Year of first Publication:2008
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2013/11/14
GND Keyword:Thema-Rhema-Gliederung; Phonologie; Intonation <Linguistik>; Chewa-Sprache; Tumbuka-Sprache; Zulu-Sprache
Page Number:19
First Page:47
Last Page:65
Linguistik-Klassifikation:Linguistik-Klassifikation: Phonetik/Phonologie / Phonetics/Phonology
Zeitschriften / Jahresberichte:ZAS papers in linguistics : ZASPiL / ZASPiL 49 = Papers in phonetics and phonology
Licence (German):License LogoDeutsches Urheberrecht