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Historical reanalysis in the Nakijin dialect noun accentuation system

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Whereas almost all Ryukyuan dialects with tonal contrasts are word-tone languages, the Nakijin dialect of Northern Okinawa is an accentual language, and this accent, in addition to being pronounced with a high tone in certain environments, interacts with a vowel lengthening process. Through comparison of the Okinawan dialect of Nakijin with the Amami dialect of Asama (Tokunoshima Island), which also has a productive vowel lengthening process, this paper reconstructs the prosodic system (pitch and vowel length) for underived nouns in Proto-Northern Ryukyuan, and shows how the accent developed in the Nakijin dialect.
Alors que la plupart des dialectes ryukyu possédant des distinctions tonales sont des langues à tons lexicaux, le dialecte de Nakijin du nord d’Okinawa est une langue à accent, et cet accent, en plus d’être prononcé sous la forme d’un ton haut dans certains environnements, interagit avec un processus d’allongement vocalique. Par la comparaison du dialecte okinawaïen de Nakijin et du dialecte amami d’Asama (île de Tokuno­shima), qui a lui aussi un processus productif d’allongement vocalique, cet article reconstruit le système prosodique (mélodie et longueur vocalique) des noms non dérivés en proto-ryukyu du Nord et expose la manière dont l’accent s’est développé dans le dialecte de Nakijin.

Affiliations: 1: CLL/Asian Studies, The University of Auckland


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