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LINGUIST List 18.3002

Mon Oct 15 2007

Qs: Languages with Weight-sensitive Tone?

Editor for this issue: Dan Parker <danlinguistlist.org>

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        1.    Patrick Liu, Languages with Weight-sensitive Tone?

Message 1: Languages with Weight-sensitive Tone?
Date: 13-Oct-2007
From: Patrick Liu <ppliufas.harvard.edu>
Subject: Languages with Weight-sensitive Tone?
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Does anyone know of any languages with weight-sensitive tone systems?

I've been doing research on Siane, a Papuan language, which appears to have
contour tones which are attracted to syllables with diphthongs. I know that
it is quite common for tone in general -- and contour tones in particular
-- to appear more frequently on heavy/longer/more sonorous syllables
(Gordon 1999, Zhang 2001).

But are there languages in which particular tones, H or L for example, are
drawn to heavier syllables? Or in which the distribution of certain tones
and tonal patterns is governed by syllable weight? Are there other
languages in which contour tones actually move or shift in order to appear
on longer syllables?

Any references or examples of languages to look into would be greatly

Thank you,

Linguistic Field(s): Phonetics

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