The Geometry and Features of Tone presents a model for the phonological representation of tone—what features are involved, how they relate to tone-bearing units, and how they interact with one another. Register Tier Theory, being a theory of phonological features, is integrated into the broader theories of lexical phonology, autosegmental phonology, and optimality theory, where it replaces the single-tier representations for tone that tend to dominate the literature.
An introduction to autosegmental phonology is presented for the uninitiated reader. Following a relatively abstract treatment of Register Tier Theory, case studies are presented of diverse types of register phenomena. The final chapter provides a critique of a number of relatively recent alternative proposals that have appeared in the literature.
The Geometry and Features of Tone will stimulate the linguist who has an interest in tone. It will also be of interest to anyone working in feature geometry and to phonology students in general.
Dr. Keith Snider, an international linguistics consultant with the Summer Institute of Linguistics, has had many years of field experience working on tonal languages in different parts of Africa. His prior publications on tone include journal articles, book articles, and a co-edited volume on tone theory.