With respect to tone reversal in Bantu languages of Africa, the example of Luba (L. 31) is well-known, and has. been the subject of several works. In this paper, the author draws attention to another language of tone reversal, Tembo (J. 57), which is spoken by some 50, 000 people in the eastern part of Zaire (Kivu Region), hundreds of kilometers away from Luba. The author has been studying it in the field since 1976.
ldquo;Although some irregularities are found, tone reversal as such is perfect in Tembo. Examples: *-t>Iacute; >Prime;tree>Prime; >ldquo; -ci muci 3, 4; *-nt>ugrave; >Prime;person>Prime; >ldquo; -ndz>ugrave; mundz>ugrave; 1, 2; *-kede >Prime;frog>Prime; >ldquo; -kere c>Iacute;kere 7, 8; *-d>Iacute;m>Ugrave; >Prime;spirit>Prime; >ldquo; -s>Iacute;m>Uacute; m>Uac>Uacute;te;simu 1, 2; *-kene >Prime;poor>Prime; >ldquo; -kene, mukene 1, 2; *-bidl >Prime;body>Prime; >ldquo; -bilyi mubilyi 3, 4; *-djm- >Prime;to be extinguished>Prime; >ldquo; -sim- kusima; *-did- >Prime;to cry>Prime;>ldquo;-lir- kulira.
ldquo;Three rules, namely High Tone Anticipation, High Tone Leveling and High Tone Spreading are postulated to explain this historical phenomenon. The derivations from Proto-Bantu to Tembo for nominals of mono- and disyllablic stems can be summarized as follows (in the Proto-Bantu forms, the first H represents the augment, and the following L the nominal prefix) : a. *H-L-H>ldquo;HRL>ldquo;HHL; b. *H-L-L>ldquo;HHL>ldquo;HHH; c. *H-L-HH>ldquo;HRLL>ldquo;HHLL; d. *H-L-HL>ldquo;HRLH>ldquo;HHLH; e. *H-L-LH>ldquo;HLRL HHHL; f. *H-L-LL>ldquo;HHLL>ldquo;HHHL>ldquo;HHHH.
The Linguistic Society of Japan