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Re: THEORY: Tonogenesis

From:Kevin Athey <kevindeanathey@...>
Date:Thursday, February 3, 2005, 0:29
>From: Steven Williams <feurieaux@...> > >In my most recent conlang, Gi-nàin, there existed >three tones (rising, high and low), which were the >remnants of a previous pitch-accent system. There was >also quite significant tone sandhi.
<snip> I like that. It's pretty. Is Gi-nàin online somewhere? Actually, that's very similar to the system I'm playing with. Pre-Þewthaj had a simple, non-phonemic stress accent. At some point, heavy substratum from an aboriginal lanugage I haven't yet named caused it to borrow the latter's pitch accent system, keeping the same point of accent. This pitch accent system raises the pitch of the accented syllable and the syllable prior, or the last syllable, if the word has no accented syllable. All others remain low. Now, eventually all syllables after the accented one were lost or collapsed into a coda, while all syllables before were lost collapsed into either an onset cluster or a single extra-short syllable. The pitch contour of the word was taken by the accented syllable alone, now most often the only syllable. H => high (55) HL => falling (42) LH => rising (35) LHL => rising-falling => mid (33) There is also the added complication that the distinction between voiced and voiceless stops in the onset was lost (once again because of substratum), and an initial voiced stop will lower H to LH and HL to LHL as it is systematicly devoiced. Does that seem reasonable? Bear in mind I really like naturalistic complications. Athey _________________________________________________________________ On the road to retirement? Check out MSN Life Events for advice on how to get there!


Steven Williams <feurieaux@...>