SpeechAnalysis: Bukusu Tone
SpeechAnalysis: Bukusu Tone
Thespeakers Ebarb & Marlo (2015) Talked about the special factsabout tones in Bukusu language, which is a language spoken by anethnic group called Luyia found in the western part of Kenya. Themain purpose of the speech was to identify different tonal patters inBukusu verbs and tones. Ebarb & Marlo (2015) identified that thepresence as well as the absence of some morphemes and the position ofwords in a given phrase influence the tone in Bukusu language. Bukusunouns are classified into four major tone patters, but the majorityof nouns, especially those with an L-tone, have a toneless pattern.Other minor classes of tone patters are determined by the presence ofone or more H-tones (high-tone) that can either be found on theaugment or mora. Bukusu verbs are classified into two tone classes.The two classes of verb tones are considered to be parallel to thedifference between Class A nouns and Class B nouns. Ebarb & Marlo(2015) identified that the analysis of verb tones can bedifferentiated from noun analysis in several easy. For example,toneless verbs are considered to be the underlying toneless, /H verbshave an H tone that is underlying linked to stem-initial mora,lexical H in /H/ verbs floats via the rule of initial delinking, andH is re-associated to argument as a result of prefix TA. Generally,the verb tone in Bukusu is influenced by several factors, includingthe lexical contrast in the roots, step shape, tonal inflection,presence of object markers, and presence of a following word.
Ingeneral, the speakers made the presentation in a very professionalway, which makes it quite informative and easy to understand. Mostimportantly, the speakers made a superb classification of noun tonesand verb stones and identified how they are different from eachother. One of the most impressive sections of the speech is the partthat outlines the tonal rules applying within the NP especially therules applied during the juncture spread and how fusion works. Thisis part of the knowledge that may be hard to find in other pieces ofliterature.
Althoughthe speech is quite informative, its content has one major weakness.The speakers consider a large number of noun patterns to be toneless,which makes no difference from the previous scholars. One wouldexpect the speakers to state clearly whether those noun patterns aretoneless or they were unable to classify them. Therefore, the speechdoes not seem to advance the field of knowledge or introduced newinformation to the audience with regard to the classification of nountones in Bantu languages, in which the Bukusu language belongs. Thisis because the classification of noun tones into four classes inBantu languages had already been in by 1928, where most of the nounpatters were still regarded as being toneless (Tucker, 1928). Thismight make the speech quite boring, especially to the audience whoare conversant with the classification of noun and verb tones in theBantu languages that have widely studied for several decades.
Inconclusion, the speech made by Ebarb & Marlo (2015) isinformative, especially to the audiences who are not conversant withthe classification of noun tones and verb tones in the Bantulanguages. The systematic classification of these tones and theirpatterns makes the speech comprehensive and easy to follow. However,part of the content has been studied and reported since 1928, whichcould reduce the value of the speech to audiences who are familiarwith the classification of noun and verb tones in different Bantulanguages that are commonly used in Africa.
Ebarb,J. & Marlo, R. (2015). 12amazing facts about Bukusu tone.Columbia, MO: University of Missouri.
Tucker,A. (1928). Review work: The tones of Sechuana nouns. Journalof the International African Institute,2 (2), 209-211.