From tones to accents

Cédric Patin


This paper is part of a larger research project on the hypothetical evolution of the prosodic system of Shingazidja, a Bantu language [G44a] of Comoros, from a tonal system to an accentual system. The first part of the paper describes the tonal properties of the language (e.g. long-distance tone shift) and its accentual properties (e.g. the insertion of a tone on the stressed syllable of an underlyingly toneless phrase), and briefly discusses tone reduction at the postlexical level. In the second part of the paper, the acoustic correlates of tone in the variety of Washili are explored. It is notably shown that the interplay of tone, stress and vowel aperture can lead to a shift of the metrical prominence that blurs the distinction between tone and accent in the language. Consequences of this process on the prosodic system of Shingazidja, and on our knowledge of tone loss in general, are addressed in a brief discussion.


 DOI: 10.21437/TAL.2018-4

Cite as: Patin, C. (2018) From tones to accents. Proc. TAL2018, Sixth International Symposium on Tonal Aspects of Languages, 17-21, DOI: 10.21437/TAL.2018-4.


@inproceedings{Patin2018,
  author={ Cédric Patin},
  title={ From tones to accents},
  year=2018,
  booktitle={Proc. TAL2018, Sixth International Symposium on Tonal Aspects of Languages},
  pages={17--21},
  doi={10.21437/TAL.2018-4},
  url={http://dx.doi.org/10.21437/TAL.2018-4}
}