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Linguistic Inquiry

Spring 2003, Vol. 34, No. 2, Pages 225-268
(doi: 10.1162/002438903321663398)
© 2003 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Optimal Tone Mapping
Article PDF (231.62 KB)

Traditional autosegmental accounts of tone mapping invoke three independent factors: morphological category, tone quality, and a phonological directionality parameter. This article argues that the evidence for phonological directionality must be reconsidered. The article introduces a theory of Optimal Tone Mapping, in which attested patterns derive solely from the interaction of morphological directionality with quality-sensitive markedness constraints. The more restrictive theory of tone association that results from eliminating constraints that impose phonological directionality provides a new typology of tone melody languages.