Lecture: Nicholas Rolle

When and Where

Wednesday, June 12, 2019 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Room 2111
Sidney Smith Hall
100 St. George Street, Toronto ON M5S 3G3


Nicholas Rolle, Princeton University


Outward-looking phonologically-conditioned allomorphy in Cilungu grammatical tone

Nicholas Rolle, Princeton University (in collaboration with Lee Bickmore, University at Albany)


This paper examines ‘outward-looking phonologically-conditioned allomorphy’ (Carstairs 1987, Bobaljik 2000, Paster 2006) in Cilungu grammatical tone (Bantu: Zambia – Bickmore 2007, 2014). We argue that outwardly-located, non-H-toned subject markers condition allomorphy on three inwardly-located TAM designations: the Yesterday Past, the Recent Past, and the Perfect. The allomorphy manifests as differences in grammatical tone, e.g. the [Yesterday Past] by default is expressed in part by a high tone on the final mora of the word, but this grammatical tone is suspended based on the tonal specification of the subject marker which appears at the beginning of the word (a non-local effect, as intervening tones are transparent to this allomorphic relation). Bickmore (2007, 2014) shows that these allomorphic patterns are not due to the language’s general tonology, and emphasizes that the tone of the subject marker has no effect on other similar TAMs. We take these data to support a model in which exponence takes place simultaneously rather than inside-out (contra Bobaljik 2000, Embick 2010, 2015, a.o.), in line with a strictly modular view of the phonology interface (Scheer 2011), whereby syntactic primitives and phonological primitives never exist in the same representation.

Contact Information


Department of Linguistics


100 St. George Street, Toronto ON M5S 3G3