Syllabification, Tone Marking, and Minimality in Eleme

  • IE Ngulube


This paper discussed syllabification in Eleme. It accounted for the distribution of glides and phonotactic constraints on intrasyllabic segmental sequences via sonority hierarchy. Two types of extraprosodicity in Eleme – word-final /i/s and word-initial were also discussed. The paper also presented the analysis of foot construction and tone marking, adopting the framework of Halle and Vergnaud (1987). It argued for a minimal word constraint in Eleme, which states that the smallest allowable phonological word in Eleme is a maximal (i.e. binary) foot. This constraint is crucial to understanding why vowel-initial words with only a single well-formed syllable violate the tone rule and why sequences of equally sonorant vowels are allowed only in bivocalic words. Finally, the paper  summarized the results of this study and their significance for linguistic theory and Ogonoid studies. The twofold objective of this paper is therefore to describe tone and syllabification in Eleme and their interaction with prosodic minimality, underscoring the implications of these phenomena for multilinear theories of phonology.

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2070-0083
print ISSN: 1994-9057