International Symposium on Tonal Aspects of Languages
With Emphasis on Tone Languages

Beijing, China
March 28-31, 2004

Bisyllabicity and Tone

Ilse Lehiste

The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USA

This paper deals with three instances in which the emergence of contrastive tone is tied with bisyllabicity. The emerging tonal patterns presuppose the presence of two syllables. In other words, the domain of the contrastive prosodic pattern is a sequence of two syllables. There are no tonal contrasts on monosyllabic words, and in a polysyllabic word, two syllables determine the prosodic identity of the word. The three languages considered here are Serbocroatian, Swedish, and Estonian. It will be shown in each case how the prosodic structure is connected with bisyllabicity.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Lehiste, Ilse (2004): "Bisyllabicity and tone", In TAL-2004, 111-114.