Metrical Tone Shift and Spread in Harmonic Serialism

Jeroen Breteler


This paper proposes a framework for the analysis of bounded tone patterns, where tone shifts or spreads across a small distance. The framework starts from the idea that foot structure drives such tone processes, with foot edges acting as targets for tone association. To account for trisyllabic patterns, a theory of layered foot representation is adopted (Kager 2012, Martinez-Paricio 2013). In addition, to account for the opacity of foot-driven tone shift, the analysis is cast in Harmonic Serialism (Prince & Smolensky 1993, McCarthy 2000). Lastly, the paper presents a set of licensing and structural markedness constraints to derive the desired patterns. The approach is successfully applied to the default tone pattern of tbe Saghala noun phrase (Patin 2009), which shows a combination of shifting and spreading over a trisyllabic domain.


Tone; Bounded tone; Foot structure; Layered feet; Harmonic Serialism; Saghala

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