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Tone

Part of Cambridge Textbooks in Linguistics

  • Date Published: August 2002
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521773140

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  • The sounds of language can be divided into consonants, vowels, and tones - the use of pitch to convey word meaning. Seventy percent of the world's languages use pitch in this way. Assuming little or no prior knowledge of the topic, this textbook provides a clearly organized introduction to tone and tonal phonology. Comprehensive in scope, it examines the main types of tonal systems found in Africa, the Americas, and Asia, using examples from the widest possible range of tone languages. It provides students with a basic grasp of the simple phonetics of tone, and covers key topics such as the distinctive feature systems suitable for tonal contrasts, allophonic and morphophonological tonal alterations, and how to analyze them within Optimality Theory. The book also examines the perception and acquisition of tone, as well as the interface between tonal phonology and the morphosyntax.

    • Provides a clearly organized introduction to tone
    • A comprehensive textbook assuming little or no prior knowledge of the topic
    • Uses examples from the widest possible range of tone languages
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    Reviews & endorsements

    '… a clearly written introduction to tone that manages to address both needs … it explains the basics of the field in such a way that it is accessible to beginning students who have just had the rudiments of phonetics and phonology. But is is precise and scholarly enough that is serves also as an excellent review of the tone literature for practising linguists … even those who specialize in the study of tone will find themselves learning …'. Journal of Linguistics

    '… a welcome addition to the line-up of the Cambridge Textbooks in Linguistics … a gem of a textbook …'. Journal of Phonology

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    Product details

    • Date Published: August 2002
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521773140
    • length: 376 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 25 mm
    • weight: 0.72kg
    • contains: 9 maps
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
    2. Contrastive tone
    3. Tonal features
    4. The autosegmental nature of tone, and its analysis in Optimality Theory
    5. Tone in morphology and in syntax
    6. African languages
    7. Asian and Pacific languages
    8. The Americas
    9. Tone, stress, accent and intonation
    10. Perception and acquisition of tone.

  • Author

    Moira Yip, University College London

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