Aspects of tone in Dholuo
This work investigates lexical and grammatical functions of tone in Dholuo. Among other things it seeks to establish tonal patterns in Dholuo grammatical categories and simple sentences. The data used are common Dholuo, Kisumu- South Nyanza dialect (KNS) words and sentences grouped according to word classes (grammatical categories) and sentence types respectively. Words used range from monosyllabic to polysyllabic ones. The study is done within the framework of Auto-segmental Phonology (AP) Theory. It has been shown that AP is adequate for the analysis of the tone patterns of Dholuo sentences. Chapter one provides the background to the study. It presents a brief description of the language under study, statement of the problem, rationale and objectives of the study, the hypotheses, the scope and limitations of the study, literature review, theoretical framework and the methodology of the research. Chapter two reviews the phonemic inventory of Dholuo. The review is basically phonetic, since the subsequent chapters deal with the phonological analysis of tone. It also looks at: the various syllable structures that are formed with the phonemes, the various words and word categories formed with the syllables, and finally, three basic types of sentences that are formed with the words. Chapters three and four form the core of this study. In chapter three, tone is discussed. In particular, the following are examined: Luo phonotactics, characteristic of tone, and Dholuo tonal inventory and tonal notations. Chapter three, significantly, analyses Dholuo grammatical categories tonal patterns. It shows that specific tonal patterns occur only in specific word categories, and that each grammatical category has varied tonal patterns depending on the function of the tone. Chapter four discusses the lexical and the grammatical functions of tone in Dholuo. It also examines the conditioning factors responsible for tonal changes (patterns). It is argued that all the tonal changes are rule governed and not haphazard. Finally, chapter five gives a brief summary of the study. It outlines the findings of the study. It concludes that tone is not only a morpheme in Dholuo, but also operates in verbs and nouns to perform different lexical and grammatical functions. It also gives recommendations for further research.
CitationMaster of Arts
University of Nairobi.Department of linguistics and languages