We claim that tone in Tiriki is best analyzed in a model where downstep is represented phonologically by a floating low (L) tone between two high (H) tones.
H) in Tiriki alternate not only with underlyingly specified L tones, but also with default L tones assigned to syllables that are underlyingly toneless (O).
section]3 presents the tonal phonology of Tiriki and shows how all of the various contexts for downstep receive a unified analysis in terms of a representation with floating L tones.
Note that in order to focus on the Tiriki generalizations of interest here, we assume the simplest possible representation of H and L tones as primitive units, i.
First, we showed above how downstep alternates with overt low tones at a single site within the word in Ga (and we will see that this is true of Tiriki as well); therefore, there is evidence from alternations for the floating L tones (or at least for L tones in the site where the Floating-L analysis would posit floating L tones).
For the many languages displaying both downstep and downdrift, including Tiriki, the Floating-L representation has an immediately apparent advantage in that the lowering of the second H tone is directly related representationally to the lowering that applies to the second H in regular (linked) HLH sequences.
We will argue in favor of a Floating-L analysis of Tiriki downstep on the basis that there is an exact one-to-one correspondence in the language between the sites where the presence of a phonological floating L tone is independently predicted, and the sites where phonetic downstep is empirically attested.
MASABA, KEREBE, TIRIKI
, HORORO, KOMORO, POGOLO, BUKUSU, RUGURU Languages with different V-C patterns include more from the Bantu .