The impact of noun classes on tonal changes in associative constructions in Fe’efe’e
This paper attempts to account for the impact of noun classes on the change of tones in the associative constructions (ACs) in Fe’efe’e, a lesser described Grassfield language spoken in the West Region of Cameroon. The paper clearly demonstrates that noun classes play a role in tonal changes in associative constructions. It shows that tonal changes observed within the associative construction depend much on the noun class to which the head noun belongs. The paper further brings out the fact that from a structural point of view, the basic associative construction in the language is canonically made up of an associative noun which is the head noun (HN), an associative marker (AM) both segmentally and non-segmentally marked, and an associated noun (AN). In most of the cases, the associative marker is a floating tone cross-linguistically attested in such constructions in most Grassfields and notably Mbam-Nkam languages.