A tonal analysis of contemporary Tai Khuen varieties

Date

2012-07-01

Authors

Owen, R. Wyn

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Publisher

Asia-Pacific Linguistics

Abstract

This paper presents an analysis of the tones of five contemporary Tai Khuen varieties in order to investigate the differences in the number of distinctive tones reported in the literature. The present study shows that while some contemporary speakers have a tone system with six tones, most speakers have only five tones. Comparison of the distribution and phonetic characteristics of the tones in the contemporary varieties with previous studies shows that the five tone system was derived by the coalescence of two tones in the six-tone system. Investigating the factors that determine which tone system a particular contemporary speaker uses leads to the conclusion that language contact with five-tone Shan was the cause of the change

Description

Keywords

phonetics, tones, language contact

Citation

Source

Journal of the Southeast Asian Linguistics Society (JSEALS) 5 (2012): 12-31

Type

Journal article

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