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Re: THEORY: Tonogenesis

From:Rob Nierse <rnierse@...>
Date:Thursday, September 12, 2002, 10:43
Thomas Wier wrote:
> This applies I think, to tone languages of the Chinese sort; African > languages seem to have different systems. Mayan languages are also tonal, > but I know next to nothing about them.....
From my not terribly systematic exposure to Quiche, it has IIRC three tones (low, mid, and high) which vary independently of stress, all of which are marked with a terribly clunky orthography, and I think some pretty complicated tone sandhi phenomena which I haven't quite figured out yet. No contour tones, I don't think: phonemically long vowels are consistently of one tone or another. (I may be wrong on some of this.)
I thought Mayan languages are not tonal, although I've never been exposed to Quiché. I do know that Yucatec Maya seems to be developping into a tonal language; it uses pitch accent at the moment. It has register tones, no contour tones. Rob