The foot domain in bambara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Recent research has shed new light on the role and characteristics of prosodic domains, including segmental and tonal feet, in an array of languages. This research extends to African languages, but much work remains to be done. Tonal African languages are particularly problematic, as correlates of stress or metrical prominence are often not well defined or are absent altogether. In addition, descriptive work may omit details of the structure and function of prosodic domains. An exception to this is Bambara, where research implicates a pivotal role for foot structure in segmental and tonal processes. These processes reference a foot domain; however, there are conflicting accounts of certain defining characteristics of its structure. This article aims to challenge two long-held claims about Bambara prosodic structure. The data presented support a claim that all Bambara feet are uniformly trochaic and parsed from left to right in all instances. I intend to illustrate that Bambara segmental and tonal feet are a single, structurally unified prosodic entity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e1-e26
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Bambara
  • Foot domain
  • Headedness
  • Mande languages
  • Prosodic structure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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