The structure of English tonal morphemes
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameDoctor of Philosophy
Several attractively simple hypotheses about the structure of English tonal morphemes, or intonational tunes, are investigated. In some cases I argue that the hypothesis can be maintained; in others I conclude that it must be abandoned. In the course of the investigation I make proposals both about the representation of particular tonal morphemes and about the rules which associate their constituent tones with the syllables of phonological phrases. The operation of these tone association rules is demonstrated in Chapter 1, which also includes a defence of the hypothesis that the units in question are morphemes. In Chapter 2 I support the analysis of prominence required for the application of the tone association rules by showing that it offers a natural account of the phenomenon of stress shift. A tune is identified in the third chapter which falsifies the hypothesis that the nucleus tone is the first obligatory tone in a tonal morpheme. In Chapter 4 I attack the hypothesis that four tones suffice to model the tunes of English, showing that five tones are necessary. I argue in Chapter 5 that the "calling tune" requires us to abandon the hypothesis that there are no accent tones following the nucleus tone of a tonal morpheme. In the sixth chapter I defend the hypothesis that tonal morphemes consist entirely of level tones. In the last two chapters I take up two complementary kinds of apparent exception to the hypothesis that each tonal morpheme contains one and only one nucleus tone. I discuss and dismiss in Chapter 7 claims that some tonal morphemes must contain more than one nucleus tone. In Chapter 8 I conclude that the opposite type of exception-- a tonal morpheme with no nucleus tone-- does exist, in the form of the "contradiction contour", which is also exceptional in other ways.