The phonetics and phonology of depressor consonants in Gengbe [chapter]

Samson Lotven, Kelly Berkson
2019 Zenodo  
The interaction between initial voiced obstruents and lower f0 has been noted for a variety of languages (Chistovich 1969; Stevens & Klatt 1973; Bradshaw 1999; Tang 2008, to name a few). In some languages, phonetic consonant-f0 interactions that alter f0 register and/or contour can be phonologized as consonant-tone interac- tions (Maran 1973; Matisoff 1973). In Gengbe, a Gbe language spoken in Southern Togo and Benin, obstruent voicing displays several interactions with f0 register and contour.
more » ... gister and contour. The goal of this study is to present the synchronic system of Gengbe consonant-f0 interactions with an eye toward the larger question of phonologiza- tion. This paper presents both phonetic and phonological data for discussion. Pre- liminary acoustic data suggest initial voiced obstruents lower the register f0 of fol- lowing Low and High tone vowels. Phonological data suggest that tonal contour effects, which change underlying High tone to Rising tone in some environments, vary based on syntactic category – voiced obstruents trigger Rising tone in nouns, while voiced obstruents and sonorants trigger Rising tone in verbs. This paper of- fers a snapshot of a system where at least some consonant-f0 interactions have been phonologized, adding to the broader understanding of tonogenetic processes.
doi:10.5281/zenodo.3367146 fatcat:ub4xvpucr5bcfirk3kbln2zqke