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Syllable StructureThe Limits of Variation$
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San Duanmu

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199267590

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199267590.001.0001

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Syllable and tone

Syllable and tone

(p.129) 7 Syllable and tone
Syllable Structure

San Duanmu (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the impact of syllable structure on tone loss, tone spreading, and tonal inventory. When a syllable‐tone language loses complex rhymes, it undergoes massive tone loss, tone spreading, and reduction in tonal inventory, as seen in Shanghai Chinese, which stands out against typical syllable‐tone languages, such as Standard Chinese.

Keywords:   complex rhyme, simple rhyme, Weight‐Stress Principle, Tone‐Stress Principle, tone loss, tone spreading, tone‐bearing ability, tonal inventory

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