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Re: THEORY: Tonogenesis

From:Roger Mills <rfmilly@...>
Date:Thursday, February 3, 2005, 0:31
Kevin Athey wrote:
> Can anyone point me to some good sources (website or book) about natlang > tonogenesis? I'm particulary but not exclusively interested in tonal > systems originating from sources other than loss of stop voicing > distinctions (as in Chinese).
Google, google, google...... there are some online papers by someone at You'll also see a "tonogenesis project" at UCBerkeley under the direction of James Matisoff, but not much online. Check journal indices devoted to Asian langs. for "History of...(Vietnamese, Khmer, Thai)". Mayan langs. I think are tonal; some African too, but they seem to work differently. I'm sure the finals in Chinese had a lot to do with tone creation, but don't know any sources that deal with it specifically. One would suppose vl. finals could = high, vd. = low; but OTOH I've heard that -? and -h tend to produce low tones. I suspect /q/ would tend to lower tone, as it certainly lowers neighboring vowels.
> > In a related question, has anyone else dealt with tonogenesis in their > conlangs?
Yes, my Gwr is tonal(5) and monosyllabic. But the proto language was basically CVCV ~CVCVC, non-tonal but with variable stress. I have sound changes sort of worked out (not online), but suspect I don't always apply them consistently. It _is_ difficult :-(( and complicated :-(((((. Someday I'll have to post a bit of it, for general criticism/witticism.


Kevin Athey <kevindeanathey@...>