This paper presents results of a survey of contour tones in 105 languages with lexical tone. Results indicate an implicational hierarchy of tone bearing ability, whereby long vowels are most likely to carry contour tones, followed by syllables containing a short vowel plus a sonorant coda, followed by syllables containing a short vowel plus an obstruent coda, followed by open syllables containing a short vowel. It is claimed that this tonal hierarchy is phonetically motivated: syllable types which are phonetically better suited to carrying tonal information are more likely to support contour tones. Languages whose tone distributions superficially appear to fall outside the range of variation predicted on phonetic grounds are demonstrated, upon closer examination, to be unexceptional in their behavior.
2023. Standard Lithuanian. Journal of the International Phonetic Association► pp. 1 ff.
2011. Word and Foot Minimality in English: A Metrical Government Analysis. In New Perspectives in Language, Discourse and Translation Studies [Second Language Learning and Teaching, ], ► pp. 25 ff.
2013. Quantitative Intervocalic Relations: Evidence for Foot Structure. In Teaching and Researching English Accents in Native and Non-native Speakers [Second Language Learning and Teaching, ], ► pp. 161 ff.
DiCanio, Christian T.
2009. The phonetics of register in Takhian Thong Chong. Journal of the International Phonetic Association 39:2 ► pp. 162 ff.
Esposito, Christina M.
2012. An acoustic and electroglottographic study of White Hmong tone and phonation. Journal of Phonetics 40:3 ► pp. 466 ff.
2018. Tonal and morphophonological effects on the location of perceptual centers (p-centers): Evidence from a Bantu language. Journal of Phonetics 67 ► pp. 21 ff.
Franich, Kathryn H. & Ange B. Lendja Ngnemzué
2021. Feeling the Beat in an African Tone Language: Rhythmic Mapping Between Language and Music. Frontiers in Communication 6
2007. Typology in Optimality Theory. Language and Linguistics Compass 1:6 ► pp. 750 ff.
Gordon, Matthew K.
2017. Phonetic and Phonological Research on Native American Languages: Past, Present, and Future. International Journal of American Linguistics 83:1 ► pp. 79 ff.
Hanssen, Judith, Jörg Peters & Carlos Gussenhoven
2022. Responses to time pressure on phrase-final melodies in varieties of Dutch and West Frisian. Journal of Phonetics 93 ► pp. 101150 ff.
2016. Dissimilation in the second language acquisition of Mandarin Chinese tones. Second Language Research 32:3 ► pp. 427 ff.
[no author supplied]
2011. References. In The Handbook of Phonological Theory, ► pp. 779 ff.
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