The Great Game: Kanhlengo Topic


Keywords: prosody, stress, register

Standard/Formal Prosody

Kanhlengo's standard prosody is syllable-timed; every syllable receives the same amount of time to be pronounced with the stressed syllables getting extra emphasis and a bit raised pitch. 

Any word that is not the head of their phrase get their stress demoted to secondary stress.

Colloquial Prosody

While the standard prosody is syllable-timed colloquial speech and written text tend to be interpreted more as stress-timed. 

Between primarily stressed syllables any word that is not the head of the phrase gets its stress demoted to secondary stress and three syllables may occur between primarily and secondarily stressed syllables as well between two secondarily stressed syllables. Between two primarily stressed syllables however four syllables are allowed in total. Thus following these patterns:

pS _ _ _ sS _ _ _ sS _ _ _ pS

pS _ _ _ _ pS _ _ _ _ pS

pS = Primary Stress

sS = Secondary Stress

Questions & Confusion

The pitch rise towards the end of the sentence when expressing questions and falls towards the end of the sentence when expressing confusion. In these scenarios the emphatic markers tend to be prominent when specific question words are not used.


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