Arguments for a Privative L Tone in Northern Tepehuan

Carlos Ivanhoe Gil Burgoin


This paper proposes that Northern Tepehuan is a tonal language with just one lexical tone 'low tone' and is therefore a privative tonal system. L tone is sufficient to explain the pitch contrasts in the language and also necessary to explain the "inconsistencies" of stress assignment. Stress is normally predictable from the size of the word, from syllable-weight, and is cued by a H* intonational tone. Nonetheless, in words that do not obey the Stress-to-Weight constraint, it could be argued that stress is displaced from the heavy syllable by virtue of a high-ranked *Align(Head/Low) constraint that prohibits the placement of stress on a syllable with a lexical L. The L tone also explains why the H* intonational tone can be displaced from stressed syllables.


Privative Tone; Uto-Aztecan; Tepehuan

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Copyright (c) 2021 Carlos Ivanhoe Gil Burgoin

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