The tonology of the Lunyala nouns, noun phrases and verbs
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The study investigates the tonology of the Lunyala nouns, noun phrases and verbs with the view of establishing the tones, tone patterns as well as tone processes and rules that exist in this language. The study adapts a qualitative approach with a corpus-based design. Data was collected using purposively pre-prepared reading tasks which were administered to two key informants who are Lunyala native speakers. The analysis of the data was done using a blend of five theories namely; the distinctive feature theory, the syllable theory, moraic theory, autosegmental phonology and generative phonology. The findings support the argument that Lunyala belongs to the H vs Ø privative tone system with the H as the marked tone. Both the underlying and surface tones are borne by the mora. Underlyingly, the tones pattern as H-Ø, Ø-H-Ø and Ø-Ø in non-augmented nouns and H-Ø and Ø-H-Ø in infinitive verbs. With the L introduced at the surface level, disregarding the variations due to the number and structure of the syllables, the tones broadly pattern as H-L, L-H-L, or L-H in non-augmented nouns, and L-H-L in infinitive verbs. In comparison, the augment and verbal inflections, more than the number and structure of the syllables, influence tonal alternations in nouns and verbs, respectively. Consequently, there are more tone patterns at the surface than the underlying representation. Further, the surface tones in the Lunyala nouns and verbs are governed by phonological default rule, tonal harmony, tone switching, tone neutralisation, unbounded, ternary and binary H or L spreading. The melodic high and low tones are only activated on the inflected verbs. Noticeably, Lunyala displays instances of tone spreading in violation of the OCP and tone spreading in conformity with the OCP or tone dissimilation rule. Also, there are fewer cases of non-tone dissimilation in the peripheral positions and between the inter-word syllable and the penult in noun phrases. Whereas the falling contour tone occurs on bimoraic syllables, it is not always the case that all bimoraic syllables surface as HL. Whereas I have described the tonology of Lunyala at lexical and phrasal level in nouns as well as inflected, for a more comprehensive understanding of the tonology of Lunyala I recommend that the following aspects be further investigated: (a) the factors which trigger compliance and noncompliance of the OCP in the augmented nouns. (b) the impact on tone in relation to derivational processes e.g., verbal extensions and in other inflectional processes e.g., double object marking, (c) a comparison between Lunyala and Ruruuli tonologies to establish the similarities and any possible differences as the speakers of the two languages claim.