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

Beijing, China
March 28-31, 2004

The Effects of Boundary Tones on the f0 Scaling of Lexical Tones

Scott Myers

Department of Linguistics, University of Texas at Austin, TX, USA

Many languages display a pattern in which the f0 values of tones are higher in a phrase ending in a high boundary tone than in one ending with a low boundary tone. In some cases it is only the tones closest to the boundary tone that are affected, while in others it affects all tones in the phrase. An account is suggested in this paper, according to which these effects are due to perceptually-based sound changes. Coarticulatory effects of the boundary tone on the f0 value of an immediately preceding tone can in shorter phrases be confused with a more global effect on phrasal scaling parameters. Such confusions can lead to a sound change linking pitch range and downtrends to final boundary tone. Such an account expresses the attested patterns without special representational machinery.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Myers, Scott (2004): "The effects of boundary tones on the f0 scaling of lexical tones", In TAL-2004, 147-150.