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Journal of the International Phonetic Association 37, 3 (2007) 237-255
Reassociated tones and coalescent syllables in Naxi (Tibeto-Burman)
Alexis Michaud 1, 2, Xueguang He 3
(2007)

The Western dialect of Naxi has four lexical tones: High, Mid, Low and Rising; the latter is rare in the lexicon. Rising contours on monosyllables are frequent in connected speech, however, as a result of a process of syllable reduction: reduction of a morpheme carrying the High tone results in re-association of its tone to the syllable that precedes it in the sentence, creating a rising contour. An experiment (with one speaker and five listeners) establishes that there is not only one rising contour that originates in tonal reassociation, as reported in earlier descriptions, but two: Low-to-High and Mid-to-High—as could be expected by analogy with phenomena observed in Niger-Congo languages and elsewhere. A second set of experiments (same speaker; six listeners) investigates the reduction of Mid- and Low-tone syllables: they reduce to [ə̄] and [ə̀], respectively, and coalesce with the preceding syllable (in Naxi, syllabic structure is simply consonant+glide+vowel). Unlike High-tone syllable reduction, this process stops short of complete tonal de-linking. These experiments aim to provide a complete picture of syllable reduction patterns in Naxi. It is argued that the notions of floating tones and tonal reassociation can be usefully applied to the Naxi data.
1 :  Laboratoire des langues et civilisations à tradition orale (LACITO)
CNRS : UMR7107 – Université Paris III - Sorbonne nouvelle – Université Paris IV - Paris Sorbonne
2 :  Laboratoire de Phonétique et Phonologie (LPP)
CNRS : UMR7018 – Université Paris III - Sorbonne nouvelle
3 :  Naxi Culture Education Centre, Lijiang
Naxi Culture Education Centre, Lijiang Municipality
Sciences de l'Homme et Société/Linguistique
Na – Naxi – lexical tone – floating tones – contour – syllable reduction – tonal reassociation – perception experiment
Liste des fichiers attachés à ce document : 
PDF
Michaud2007_NaxiTones_JIPA.pdf(5.2 MB)
ANNEX
Michaud2007_JIPA_DocumentationOfRecordings.pdf(240.3 KB)
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Naxi_tones_11_12_EGG.wav(14.7 MB)
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