The study also highlights the constructs of current linguistic theory, arguing for distinctive features and the notion 'onset' and against some of the claims of Optimality Theory and Usage-based accounts.
The importance of Henk Zeevat's new monograph cannot be overstated. [...] I recommend it to anyone who combines interests in language, logic, and computation [...]. David Beaver, University of Texas at Austin
The Effects of Duration & Sonority on Contour Tone Distribution
A Typological Survey and Formal Analysis
Outstanding Dissertations in Linguistics
This book presents a detailed and enlightening examination of the effects of duration and sonority on the pattens of positional restriction of contour tones. Through a typological survey and analysis of 187 genetically diverse languages the author challenges the theoretical standpoint from which the problem has been traditionally addressed and adds to the growing amount of data which places the dichotomy between phonology and phonetics into question. The results of this rigorous investigation are, the author argues, inexpressible in traditional phonology and requires an innovative collapsing of the older model's operative distinction. This new theoretical model allows the author to provide a hitherto unavailable accounting of contour tones, but also represents a major theoretical contribution in its own right.