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Title: Rule Reversal Revisited
Subtitle: Synchrony and diachrony of tone and prosodic structure in the Franconian dialect of Arzbach
Written By: Björn Köhnlein
Series Title: LOT dissertation Series

This thesis deals with the tone accent opposition in the so-called “Rule B
area” in Franconian. Rule B is known for its reversal of tonal melodies: in
1921, Adolf Bach published a description of the Arzbach accents, stating that
the tonal melodies in Arzbach display a reversal of those in the rest of the
area (Rule A). The study at hand not only provides crucial but as yet missing
empirical data on Rule B but also suggests synchronic and diachronic
typological analyses of the phenomenon. Newly gathered phonetic data from
the Arzbach dialect show that the tone accents in Arzbach are reversed in
declaration but not in interrogation, where they strongly resemble the Rule A
contours. This important observation was unreported so far. On the basis of
these findings, detailed synchronic autosegmental analyses for Arzbach and
three other Franconian dialects show that we can understand the tone accent
opposition as one of different foot structures for the two accents (resulting in
head domains of different size). All analyses are formalized in Optimality
Theory. The diachronic section of the thesis explores the origin of the semi-
reversed tonal contours in Rule B. It argues that Rule B and Rule A
developed out of a common predecessor but adapted in different ways to
declaration melodies from non-accent dialects, which lead to opposite
declarative contours. This study is of interest to phonologists concerned with
tone, prosodic structure, and their interaction. Furthermore, it addresses
(acoustic) phoneticians as well as dialectologists, especially those interested
in Germanic prosody.

Publication Year: 2011
Publisher: Netherlands Graduate School of Linguistics / Landelijke (LOT)
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Linguistic Field(s): Phonetics
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Format: Paperback
ISBN-13: 9789460930553