Crosslinguistic trends in tone change
A review of tone change studies in East and Southeast Asia
Ground-breaking studies on how Bangkok Thai tones have changed over the past 100 years (Pittayaporn 2007, 2018; Zhu et al. 2015) reveal a pattern that Zhu et al. (2015) term the “clockwise tone shift cycle:” low > falling > high level or rising-falling > rising > falling-rising or low. The present study addresses three follow-up questions: (1) Are tone changes like those seen in Bangkok Thai also attested in other languages? (2) What other tone changes are repeated across multiple languages? (3) What phonetic biases are most likely to be the origins of the reported changes? A typological review of 52 tone change studies across 45 Sinitic, Tai-Kadai, Hmong-Mien, and Tibeto-Burman languages reveals that clockwise changes are by far the most common. The paper concludes by exploring how tonal truncation (Xu 2017) generates synchronic variation that matches the diachronic patterns; this suggests that truncation is a key mechanism in tone change.
Keywords: tone change, diachronic typology, carry-over effects, truncation, Target Approximation Model
Published online: 17 September 2019
Bei, Xianming 贝先明
Bradley, Cornelius Beach
Brown, Marvin J.
2011 Variation in Thai Song Dam. Paper presented at the 21st Southeast Asian Linguistics Society (SEALS), Bangkok, May 11–13.
2010 A diachronic chain shift in the sandhi tones of Jinhua Wu. Paper presented at the Linguistics Student Association Colloquium, San Diego State University, San Diego, California, May 1.
Chen, Si, Caroline Wiltshire & Bin Li
Chiung, Wi-Vun Taiffalo
Fowler, Carol A. & Mary R. Smith
Gandour, Jack, Siripong Potisuk, Sumalee Dechongkit & Suvit Ponglorpisit[ p. 448 ]
Garrett, Andrew & Keith Johnson
Gao, Yujuan 高玉娟
Gong, Lu 龚露
Gottfried, Terry L. & Traci L. Suiter
He, Wei 何薇
Hing, Jia Wen
2018 Tonal variation and contour change: Internally driven or contact-induced? Paper presented at the 5th New Ways of Analyzing Variation Asia-Pacific (NWAV-AP), Brisbane, Feb 2–4.
Hu, Zhidan 胡智丹
Hyman, Larry M.
2017 Synchronic vs. diachronic naturalness: Hyman & Schuh (1974) revisited. UC Berkeley PhonLab Annual Report 13(1). 226–242. https://escholarship.org/uc/item/3ht3w95j (1 April 2019).
Hyman, Larry M. & Russell G. Schuh
Laniran, Yetunde O. & George N. Clements
Li, Jindai 李金黛[ p. 449 ]
Liang, Lei & Xiaolin Meng
Liberman, Mark, Michael Schultz, Soonhyun Hong & Vincent Okeke
Liu, Lili 刘俐李
Liu, Mengzhe 刘梦喆
Ming, Maoxiu 明茂修 & Xiancheng Zhang 张显成
Mok, Peggy Pik-Ki & Peggy Wai-Yi Wong
2010 Production of the merging tones in Hong Kong Cantonese: Preliminary data on monosyllables. Speech Prosody 2010, 100986, 1–4, http://speechprosody2010.illinois.edu/papers/100986.pdf (4 May 2017.)
Mok, Peggy Pik-Ki, Donghui Zuo & Peggy Wai-Yi Wong
Ohala, John J.
Owen, R. Wyn
Pittayaporn, Pittayawat[ p. 450 ]
Prom-on, Santitham, Yi Xu & Bundit Thipakorn
Qi, Haifeng 亓海峰
Shi, Feng 石锋 & Ping Wang 王萍
Wang, Yufeng 王宇枫
Wei, Wei 魏伟 & Wen Cao 曹文
2010 太仆寺旗方言声调调值及入声和去声的语音演变[Tone values of Taipusi dialect and sound change in the ru and qu tones]. Paper presented at the第九届中国语音学学术会议 [Ninth Phonetics Conference in China (PCC) 2010], Tianjin, May 28–30.
Xiang, Ning 向柠 & Feng Shi 石锋
Xing, Wuzhou 邢五洲
Xu, Yi[ p. 451 ]
2017 Syllable as a synchronization mechanism that makes human speech possible. Manuscript, University College London. Available at http://www.homepages.ucl.ac.uk/~uclyyix//Syllable_manuscript.pdf. Accessed June 20, 2018.
Xu, Yi & Fang Liu
Xu, Yi & Santitham Prom-on
Xu, Yi & Xuejing Sun
Xu, Yi & Q. Emily Wang
Xu, Yi & Maolin Wang
Xue, Yimeng 薛一萌
Yang, Cathryn, James N. Stanford & Zhengyu Yang
Yang, Cathryn, James N. Stanford, Yang Liu, Jinjing Jiang & Liufang Tang
Yang, Wenjing & Cathryn Yang
Yang, Qiyuan 杨棋媛[ p. 452 ]
Yeh, Chia-Hsin & Yen-Hwei Lin
Yeh, Chia-Hsin & Jung-Yueh Tu
2012 The effect of language attrition and tone sandhi on Taiwanese tonal processing. Paper presented at the Sixth International Conference of Speech Prosody, Shanghai, May 22–25.
Yi, Li 衣莉
2016 正在进行中的声调演化——兰州单字调 [Tone change-in-progress – Lanzhou citation tones]. Paper presented at the 49th International Conference on Sino-Tibetan Languages and Linguistics, Guangzhou, November 11–13.
Zeng, Xiaoyu 曾晓渝
Zhang, Jie & Jiang Liu
Zhang, Guanyu 张冠宇
Zhang, Jingyu 张锦玉
Zhang, Jingwei 张璟玮
Zhang, Jingwei, Yanhong Zhang & Daming Xu
2018 A new tone merger in Hong Kong Cantonese. Paper presented at the 5th New Ways of Analyzing Variation Asia-Pacific (NWAV-AP), Brisbane, Feb. 2–4.
Zhang, Jingfen 张静芬 & Xiaonong Zhu 朱晓农
Zhang, Ting 章婷 & Xiaonong Zhu 朱晓农
Zhang, Yi 张祎
Zhu, Xiaonong 朱晓农, Mingying Wei 韦名应 & Junfang Wang 王俊芳[ p. 453 ]
Zhu, Xiaonong 朱晓农, Lin Qing 林晴 & Pachaya 趴差桠
Zhu, Xiaonong 朱晓农 & Fei Li 李菲
Cited by 1 other publications
This list is based on CrossRef data as of 08 february 2021. Please note that it may not be complete. Sources presented here have been supplied by the respective publishers. Any errors therein should be reported to them.