The diachronic development of <i>stød</i> and tonal accent in North Germanic
In 1982, Anatoly Liberman spiced up the century-old debate of the development of word accents in North Germanic, by proposing that stød developed first, followed by tonogenesis in Norwegian and Swedish. Liberman, however, did not address the actual mechanisms of stød – or tonogenesis. The present paper provides an analysis of how word accents developed in North Germanic following Liberman’s stød-first hypothesis. We propose that encliticisation of the definite articles and consequent glottalisation conditioned stød-genesis in monosyllables. The actual word accent opposition arose when the monosyllabic-stød and polysyllabic no-stød dichotomy was disturbed by epenthesis creating disyllables with stød. Intense language contact of speakers of stød 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.