Sub-Saharan Africa

Larry M. Hyman, Hannah Sande, Florian Lionnet, Nicholas Rolle, Emily Clem

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

4 Scopus citations


This chapter maps out the tonal, accentual, and intonational properties of sub-Saharan African languages, focusing particularly on Niger-Congo. It distinguishes tone systems by the number of contrastive tone heights and contours and their tonal distributions, as well as grammatical functions of tone. It considers positional prominence effects potentially analysed as word accent and concludes with discussion of both intonational pitch and length marking syntactic domains and clause types.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Language Prosody
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9780198832232
StatePublished - Jan 1 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Arts and Humanities
  • General Social Sciences


  • contours
  • intonational pitch
  • niger-Congo
  • sub-Saharan Africa
  • tonal distributions
  • tone heights
  • tone systems
  • word accent


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