International Symposium on Tonal Aspects of Languages
We may have an early stage of tonogenesis in two minority languages of Thailand. In one of them, Suai, its old voiceregister distinction is apparently giving way to one of pitch accent. In the other, Pattani Malay, an existing distinction of word-initial consonant length is giving way to one of relative salience on the first syllable of disyllabic words. The role of pitch in both may foretell the ultimate emergence of tones.
Bibliographic reference. Abramson, Arthur S. (2004): "Toward prosodic contrast: Suai and Pattani Malay", In TAL-2004, 1-4.