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date: 22 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Tone loss (tonoexodus) is relatively understudied in comparison with the birth of tone (tonogenesis). Contact plays a crucial role in tone loss, which usually proceeds through reanalysis of a prominent tone as an accent. Tonogenesis most frequently occurs as laryngeal features spread from either coda or onset to the nucleus, frequently passing through a contrast in phonation (modal, breathy, creaky) before settling down as a contrast in pitch. F0 also covaries with certain features of the vowel that in rare cases can become phonologized as tone. Once established, tones may multiply or merge. Tone is highly suggestible, as are other prosodic features, and tones in one language can influence tones in neighbouring languages. However, similarities in tone systems in a linguistic area are better explained as parallel development rather than direct borrowing.

Keywords: tone, tonoexodus, tonogenesis, pitch, phonation, laryngeal, prosody, contact

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