Intonational phrase boundaries in Southern Bobo Madaré

Author(s): Kate Sherwood


Southern Bobo Madaré (Bobo) is a Mande language spoken in southwestern Burkina Faso. This paper presents the first step towards a systematic prosodic analysis of this language. It outlines the phonetic correlates of intonational phrase boundaries in Bobo, focusing on fundamental frequency, final lengthening, and non-modal vowel phonation. It is argued that Bobo has both L and H boundary tones, but that these are optional and needed to describe only a small minority of cases. The phrase-final prosody of questions is also described. The analysis is conducted within the theoretical framework of the Autosegmental-Metrical model. Connections between these findings and those for other tone languages and other languages of West Africa are discussed.