THE TONE PATTERNS IN THE KIKAMBA VERB COMPLEX
The description of tone in Bantu Languages has not been a popular subject for conference papers or for postgraduate research by local linguists in the local set up. This is particularly because tone is not given appropriate emphasis in the linguistic courses taught in our universities both at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. This continues to happen despite the fact that many African languages are tone languages. As a result, our graduates usually find themselves ill-prepared to handle issues of tone, even in their mother tongues. Though some of them may be able to provide pairs of words that differ minimally in tone, majority of them cannot say which melodies are associated with which segments in the words. In other words, they have not been trained to ‘hear’ and categorise tone.
Key words: Kikamba, tone, language, Kenya