Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

G. Hubert Matthews


This thesis presents an autosegmental analysis of the tone system of the nouns of Foodo, a Guang language of Benin. The goal is to give an analysis of the tone system of nouns that will account for all the surface tonal phenomena by positing two underlying tones. Foodo nouns consist of a stem together with its class prefix and/or suffix; while tonal alternations in prefixes are easily explained by two tone rules, the suffixes exhibit rather complex alternations. Many of the theoretical assumptions of lexical phonology, (especially the view that most lexical rules are cyclic and Kiparsky's Elsewhere Condition) allow for a simple and straightforward account of these tonal alternations. This thesis assumes Pulleyblank's (1986:78-82) version of the Association Convention which excludes automatic multiple-linking and automatic spreading.

A secondary goal of this thesis is to address certain theoretical issues in light of the analysis contained herein. Chapter 6 shows that cyclic application of rules is necessary in the lexical component of a Foodo grammar, thus lending support to the claim of lexical phonology that rule application in the lexical component may be cyclic. This chapter also discusses the issue of what constitutes a tone-bearing unit (TBU) in the language, and shows that current phonological theory does not provide an adequate element to serve as the TBU in Foodo.

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