Evidence for Underlying Mid Tones in MXY Mixtec

Inga McKendry


This paper provides evidence for the presence of underlying Mid tones in South-eastern Nochixtla┬┤n Mixtec (MXY), an Otomanguean language of southern Mexico. I show that in the underlying tonal inventory there are High, Mid, and Low tones, as well as moras which are unspecified for tone. Thus, there are more options phonologically for the tone of a mora than the phonetic opposition shows. Evidence for this claim comes from the surface tonal patterns of nouns as well as verbal morphology. In addition to the underlying tones, there is also a default tone which is inserted when no other tone is available to provide a surface tone for a toneless TBU. However, this tone does not participate in phonological processes like the other specified tones, nor does it form part of tonal contours. Acoustic analysis shows that Default and Mid are phonetically indistinguishable. However, in the sequence High Low Mid, the Low tone is raised to Mid, whereas Low raising does not occur in the sequence High Low Default.


 DOI: 10.21437/TAL.2018-35

Cite as: McKendry, I. (2018) Evidence for Underlying Mid Tones in MXY Mixtec. Proc. TAL2018, Sixth International Symposium on Tonal Aspects of Languages, 173-177, DOI: 10.21437/TAL.2018-35.


@inproceedings{McKendry2018,
  author={ Inga McKendry},
  title={ Evidence for Underlying Mid Tones in MXY Mixtec},
  year=2018,
  booktitle={Proc. TAL2018, Sixth International Symposium on Tonal Aspects of Languages},
  pages={173--177},
  doi={10.21437/TAL.2018-35},
  url={http://dx.doi.org/10.21437/TAL.2018-35}
}