An Examination Of The Tone System Of Fur And Its Function In Grammar
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This research into the tonal system of Fur and its grammatical functions began with several basic assumptions. These assumptions were based on the excellent prior research by Jakobi (1989), and Kutsch Lojenga and Waag(2000). These assumptions were: 1. Fur is a register tone language with two tones L and H. Contours on LH and HL are possible. 2. Tone makes lexical distinctions in Fur as exemplified by examples such as: 'desert' úrì 'sheep' úri 3. Tone also functions in the grammar of Fur. Tone is used to differentiate the nominative and locative forms of nouns and the attributive and predicate forms of adjectives. The purpose of the research was to take this knowledge and study two aspects of the Fur language in greater detail. These two objectives were as follows: 1. A reexamination of the tone system to determine if Jernudd's claim (1983) of a three tone system was possible. 2. An investigation of two previously known functions of tone in Fur, that of tone change in the formation of locatives, and tonal difference between attributive and predicate forms of nouns, in light of the results of the new evaluation of the tone system produced by the first objective. 3. A study of a new function of tone in Fur grammar discovered during this research, namely a tonal difference in [±human] objects of verbs based on their semantic roles. Through elicitation of data from Subject A, a native speaker of Fur residing in Arlington, Texas, and analysis of the data using Fo Pitch Trajectory Plots, the aforementioned topics are investigated.