Date of Award

Summer 7-1-2022

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics


Green, Christopher R.


Cushitic, Maay Maay, prosody, tonology

Subject Categories

Linguistics | Social and Behavioral Sciences


The aim of this thesis is to explore the tonology of the nominal system in Kenyan Maay Maay (KMM). In particular, this thesis describes the structure of nouns and noun phrases and outlines an analysis of tonal alternations based on a combination of word shape and grammatical gender that have not previously been discussed. The goal is to understand the nature of the language's prosodic system and how it may have developed. This thesis complements research on other Maay dialects that report rather different prosodic properties, ranging from not having a tonal system (Comfort & Paster 2009; Paster 2006; Paster & Ranero 2015) to not exhibiting the type or number of alternations reported here (Saaed 1982, Biber 1982). In doing so, this thesis intends to situate KMM alongside the synchronic and diachronic prosodic behavior of other Maay varieties, as well as other Cushitic languages.


Open Access

Included in

Linguistics Commons



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