This book develops a theory of the interaction of phonological tone with segmental quality. Current phonological theory provides no formal mechanism that would relate tone to sonority. In fact, some authors explicitly deny the possibility of a systematic phonological interrelation between tone and sonority and it has been suggested in the literature that in many cases of tone-vowel interactions, tone affects vocalic quality indirectly through syllable structure, foot structure, or duration. The present study argues that this assertion is unfounded and demonstrates that tone can interact directly with vowel quality without the mediating factors such as syllable structure or duration, the basic idea being that tonally prominent units co-occur with prominent segments. The discussion is centred around patterns of vocalic neutralisation attested in East Slavic.
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