Tone Dissimilation - Summer Semester 2022

Jochen Trommer

Module 04-046-2014 Suprasegmental Phonology • Thursday 09:15-10:45 NSG S 411

Literature | Moodle | Contact

Whereas dissimilation is not very frequent for consonants and rather rare in vowels, it is a pervasive typological process for tone, showing extensive crosslinguistic diversity. Theoretically, tone dissimilation also has played the crucial role for one of the most important and debated phonological constraints, the Obligatory Contour Principle. In this course, we look at the broad spectrum of tonal dissimilation processes including apparently morphologized versions in tonal polarity, their interaction with other phonological processes (e.g. tone spreading and shifting), and their embedding in hierarchical morphological and syntactic domains, both from a typological and theoretical perspective. Tone dissimilation is also closely related to the twin course on lexical accent systems since competition among accents in tone accent languages can also be understood as a type of dissimilation.

Preliminary Program

Theoretical Topics Paper 1 Paper 2 Paper 3
The OCP: Myers (1997) Odden (1986)
Tone Polarity: Cahill (2004) Pulleyblank (1986) Kouneli & Nie (2020)
Locality: Odden (1994)
Dissimilation & Spreading: Yokwe (1986)
Dissimilation & Shifting: Patin (2017)
Beyond H-tones: Meyase (2021) Trommer (2021)
Directionality: Chen (2004) Hyman & van Bik (2004)


The OCP and its Effects

Locality of Dissimilation

Beyond High tones

The Interaction of Tone Dissimilation with Tone Spreading

... and with Tone Shifting

Iterativity and Directionality

Tone Polarity


Jochen Trommer
Institut für Linguistik
Universität Leipzig

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