There’s no tone in Cologne: against tone-segment interactions in Franconian

in Segmental Structure and Tone


Central and Low Franconian dialects seem to provide counterevidence to alleged universals of unattested correlations of (a) tone and postvocalic voicing, and (b) tone and vowel height. I argue that none of these cases are real counterexamples because contrary to standard analyses in the literature Franconian dialects do not have lexical tones. I propose the contrast to be based on foot structure instead: so called accent 1 is a “true” moraic trochee, i.e. a single heavy syllable with stress on the first mora; and accent 2 is a syllabic trochee. I discuss contemporary Franconian dialects as well as the historical origin of the contrast (“accentogenesis”) and show how the apparent segment-tone interactions developed from prosodic changes that have little to do with consonant voicing and nothing with vowel height - let alone tone.

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