Tone, final devoicing, and assimilation in Moresnet

in Segmental Structure and Tone

Abstract

In the Franconian dialect of Moresnet, accentuation shows up noncontrastively on short vowels followed by an obstruent. The tone is determined by the underlying voicing of the following obstruent, not by its surface realization. Neither Final Devoicing nor Voicing Assimilation seem to affect the accentuation on the vowel. We explore the theoretical implications of this opacity and demonstrate, first, that it requires a phonological model which is derivational involving at least two different levels, and that this in turn implies that the apparent interaction between voicing and tone in this dialect is not problematic for recent accounts which posit that Franconian dialects do not have a tonal, but rather a prosodic contrast.

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