Abstract

Abstract:

This article presents a descriptive and theoretical framework for the analysis of prosodic systems that have emerged from contact between African tone and European intonation-only languages. A comparative study of the prosodic systems of two Romance contact varieties, Central African French and Equatorial Guinean Spanish, shows that they feature two-tone systems, fixed word-tone patterns, tonal minimal pairs, the arbitrary assignment of tone in function words, and tonal processes. Evidence from further contact varieties and creole languages shows that similar systems evolved in other Afro-European contact ecologies. We conclude that tone is imposed by default on contact varieties and creoles that take shape in ecologies characterized by source-language agentivity in tone languages. In doing so, we argue against claims that tone necessarily cedes to stress during language contact and creolization. Instead, contact varieties and creoles partake just like other languages in the convergence processes that lead to the areal clustering of prosodic systems.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1535-0665
Print ISSN
0097-8507
Pages
pp. 1-41
Launched on MUSE
2020-03-16
Open Access
No
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