Cross-dialect variation in Dinka tonal morphology
Blum, Mirella L.
This study has two main components: to describe the tone system of the previously-undocumented Hol dialect of Dinka, and to classify an unclassified inflectional category. Dinka, a West Nilotic language comprised predominantly of closed monosyllabic words, has a complex suprasegmental system; vowel length, voice quality, and tone (both lexical and morphological) all operate independently. I first describe the tone system of Hol, which has four distinctive tone categories. Using data from the Hol dialect as well as the Bor South dialect, two of the Bor cluster dialects, I then provide evidence that a tonal change on transitive verbs first identified in the Agar dialect is a separate inflectional category with robust behaviour in the Bor dialect cluster. This study is a starting point for comprehensive examinations of tense-aspect, inflection, and intransitive verbs in Dinka.