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Tonogenesis in Southeastern Monguor.

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Abstract

As the result of language contact in the northern Tibetan region, one variety of the Mongolic language Monguor (ISO 639-3: MJG) realizes prosodic accent as a rising pitch contour. Furthermore, a small number of homophones have come to be distinguished by tonal contour. Although at least two Turkic and Mongolic languages have occasionally copied the most salient tonal features of some Chinese loanwords, this is the first known example of both distinctive pitch contrasts in native lexemes, as well as default prosodic accent at the utterance level. Such an incipient tonal system offers insight into the relationship between often-contested types of prosodic accent as well as the effects of intensive language contact.

References

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