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Monosyllabicization: patterns of evolution in Asian languages

Abstract : Asian languages reveal a continuum from quasi-disyllables to highly eroded monosyllables. These variegated states are now understood to be different stages along a common evolutionary path. An overview is proposed, beginning with the earliest stages of monosyllabicization, before the generalization of a strictly monosyllabic phonological structure. The well-documented processes of consonantal depletion which lead to the development of phonation-type registers and tones are set out within a general model. Lastly, phonological evolutions observed at advanced stages of segmental depletion are discussed. The concluding note concerns the aftermath of segmental depletion: the re-creation of polysyllables.
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Contributor : Alexis Michaud <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, January 10, 2012 - 12:54:46 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, July 23, 2019 - 4:16:01 PM
Long-term archiving on: : Friday, May 11, 2012 - 4:05:22 PM


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  • HAL Id : halshs-00436432, version 2


Alexis Michaud. Monosyllabicization: patterns of evolution in Asian languages. Nicole Nau, Thomas Stolz & Cornelia Stroh. Monosyllables: from phonology to typology, Akademie Verlag, pp.115-130, 2012. ⟨halshs-00436432v2⟩



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