Tone stability

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Tone stability is a phenomenon found in tone languages. A segment can be deleted while leaving behind the specification of tone height. This specification is found on a neighboring segment, often creating a contour tone.


In Margi the two morphemes /ng?/ and /y?/ are realized as [ngya]. The vowel [e] is deleted, leaving behind the low tone. This low tone settles on the remaining vowel and forms a contour tone with the original tone of the second vowel.

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See also



  • Goldsmith 1976. Autosegmental phonology, PhD diss. MIT, Cambridge MA. Distributed by IULC, published by Garland Press, New York, 1979.
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