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Tonal melodies in the Lulamogi verb

Abstract

In this paper I describe the tonal melodies of Lulamogi, a small understudied language of the Luganda-Lusoga cluster. Although Lulamogi has lost lexical contrast on verbs, as in most Bantu languages, it has a rich set of verbal melodies that are assigned on the basis of tense, aspect, mood, polarity and clause type (e.g. main vs. relative). Although focus is on the stem tone melodies, other complications arise from preceding prefixes which may shift their H tone onto the stem initial syllable. Since the system is quite different from that found in well-known Luganda, it is of particular interest for our understanding of the evolution of the tone systems of this subregion.

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