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Dr. Marjorie to present research "Logoori verb tones and the phonology-morphology interface"

Dr. Marjorie Pak smiles towards the camera

We are pleased to be hosting a presentation by Dr. Marjorie Pak from Emory University who will be presenting research entitled “Logoori verb tones and the phonology-morphology interface”. The abstract for Dr. Pak’s presentation is provided below.


This event will be held on Friday, February 4th at 12:40 in the MLC, room 147 as part of the Spring Linguistics Colloquium. Attendees are invited to participate in person or remotely using Zoom (Please contact Amy Smoler, to obtain the Zoom link for this event).

For additional information regarding Dr. Pak’s presentation, please contact Dr. Pilar Chamorro ( in the Department of Linguistics. Any inquiries related to the Linguistics Colloquium can be submitted to


Abstract: Logoori (Bantu, Kenya) has two verb classes and a rich tense-mood-aspect system in which many distinctions are marked with grammatical tone, e.g. -vʊ́gʊr-a [infinitive] ~ vʊgʊ́r-á [imperative]. I show that these tonal alternations present a puzzle reminiscent of English keep~kept and German Hand~Hände—there seems to be some kind of phonological tweaking, but only in certain morphosyntactic contexts. Accordingly, previous analyses of Logoori (Goldsmith 1991, Odden 2018) have featured a combination of ‘pieces and processes’: some tones are autosegmental exponents (pieces), while others are the output of special morphophonological rules (processes). I try out an alternative, exclusively piece-based analysis and show that it ultimately fails to account for the full Logoori pattern. This finding underscores the need for morphologically-conditioned phonology in the grammar and presents a challenge for theories that would eschew it (e.g. Haugen 2015, Bermúdez-Otero 2012).


We hope to see you all soon!

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