This paper presents an analysis of tone association in Bambara using binary left-headed tonal feet. Bambara has quadrisyllabic nominal forms with patterns such as HHLL and LLHH, which were previously analyzed as requiring edge-in association (Rialland and Badjimé 1989). Edge-in is problematic for recent proposals that dispense with directional association and spreading (Zoll 2003). Under a tonal foot analysis, tones are instead associated within each foot, producing a binary pattern. The tonal foot analysis is extended to account for trisyllabic basic and alternate tone patterns, the distribution of the LHL tone melody, and tone shift in definite forms. The analysis is compared to an alternate tonal foot analysis (Leben 2002, 2003). It is concluded that tonal feet provide a superior overall account of Bambara nominal tone patterns, and eliminate the need for edge-in association.
Proceedings of the 25th West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics
edited by Donald Baumer, David Montero, and Michael Scanlon
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