The diachronic development of <i>stød</i> and tonal accent in North Germanic

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In 1982, Anatoly Liberman spiced up the century-old debate of the development of word accents in North Germanic, by proposing that st&#248;d developed first, followed by tonogenesis in Norwegian and Swedish. Liberman, however, did not address the actual mechanisms of st&#248;d&#160;&#8211; or tonogenesis. The present paper provides an analysis of how word accents developed in North Germanic following Liberman&#8217;s st&#248;d-first hypothesis. We propose that encliticisation of the definite articles and consequent glottalisation conditioned st&#248;d-genesis in monosyllables. The actual word accent opposition arose when the monosyllabic-st&#248;d and polysyllabic no-st&#248;d dichotomy was disturbed by epenthesis creating disyllables with st&#248;d. Intense language contact of speakers of st&#248;d dialects then conditioned tonogenesis in other dialects. This analysis puts the development of North Germanic word accents back in line typologically with many other languages where tonal opposition has been attested to stem from glottalisation or loss of glottal consonants.


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