A first approach to the prosodic system of Laze: fieldwork data and cross-language perspectives

Abstract : This is a preliminary study of the tone system of the Laze language as spoken in the township of Xiangjiao, Muli county, Sichuan (四川省木里县项脚乡). Its tonal system is here described as being structured in terms of H(igh), M(id) and L(ow) levels, like that of the closely related languages Naxi and Na. There exist four lexical tones for Laze monosyllables; in theory, this could yield as many as sixteen tone patterns over disyllables, but only six are observed. The present research aims to bring out the synchronic principles which perpetuate this restriction over lexical tonal patterns: the tonal changes that occur in the creation of disyllabic entities. Special attention is paid to the tonal changes observed in compounds and in object+verb constructions. It appears that not all synchronic processes of tonal change can be explained as the reduction of 'illicit' patterns to 'licit' ones: for instance, L+L combinations undergo a change (to [H.H] or [L.H]) in various cases, despite the fact that [L.L] is a licit pattern for disyllables. The Laze data are here presented in cross-language perspective, with extensive developments about the Na language (a.k.a. “Eastern dialect of Naxi”) as spoken in the plain of Yongning.
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Alexis Michaud. A first approach to the prosodic system of Laze: fieldwork data and cross-language perspectives . Workshop on Tibeto-Burman Languages of Sichuan, Institute of Linguistics - Academia Sinica, Nov 2008, Taipei, Taiwan. ⟨halshs-01372956⟩

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