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The Languages of the Jews: A Sociolinguistic History

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Title: Perception of the Tone Contrast in East Limburgian Dialects
Written By: Rachel Fournier
Series Title: LOT Dissertation Series 196
Description:

East Limburgian dialects are typological goldmines. On the one hand, they
resemble tone languages like Chinese, in that they can express word-level
semantic contrasts by means of pitch only. On the other hand, they use
pitch to distinguish sentence-level meanings such as the statement/question
opposition, just like non-tone languages do. For instance, if a Roermond
speaker says haas with a steep fall in its melody, one can infer that this
word means ‘hare’ and is pronounced as a statement. If, however, haas is
realized with a low flat contour followed by a steep rise, it means ‘glove’
and forms a yes/no question. The number of melodic contours that results
from all possible combinations of tones (conveying lexical meanings) and
intonations (conveying discourse meanings) is further boosted by two
structural factors of variation, the focus condition and position of a word
within the sentence. Given all these dimensions, one may indeed wonder how
native speakers manage to find their way in the sentences they hear.

The present thesis examines the perception of East Limburgian lexical tones
as a function of the parameters mentioned above, using the dialects of
Roermond and Venlo. Our results are mainly based on behavioral studies
which consisted in identifying or discriminating words in different
contexts, but we also explored the brain reactions of native and non-native
listeners when they were exposed to tonal and intonational contrasts.

Publication Year: 2008
Publisher: Netherlands Graduate School of Linguistics / Landelijke (LOT)
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BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Phonetics
Phonology
Semantics
Syntax
Typology
Subject Language(s): Limburgish
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Versions:
Format: Paperback
ISBN-13: 9789078328704
Pages: 173
Prices: Europe EURO 20.19