Les systèmes de tons en Asie orientale : typologie, schémas évolutifs et modélisation

Abstract : This contribution recapitulates major findings about East Asian languages to discuss general issues of tonal typology, diachronic evolution and phonological modeling. Relatively little attention has been paid to Far Eastern languages in which linguistic tone cannot simply be equated with pitch, or be decomposed into tonal levels, such as Tamang or Vietnamese. These languages are admittedly somewhat unattractive for phonologists, since they lack tonal alternations. However, they clearly need to be taken into account in phonological modeling and typological generalizations - and they present highly interesting complexities of their own. The conclusion which emerges in light of a synchronic and diachronic survey is very close to a point of view expressed more than half a century ago (Pike 1948), namely that there exists a major typological divide between two types of tonal organization: (i) level-tone systems and (ii) complex-tone systems. With a view to drawing all the implications of this divide, special attention is devoted to the evolution of tonal systems: diachronic facts provide precious insights into the nature of phonological systems.
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Alexis Michaud. Les systèmes de tons en Asie orientale : typologie, schémas évolutifs et modélisation. Faits de langues, Peter Lang, 2011, 37, pp.247-261. ⟨halshs-00436458v2⟩

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