On Wed, Jul 9, 2008 at 12:11 AM, Eldin Raigmore <[log in to unmask]>

> If I correctly gather which theories about tonogenesis are most widely- or
> well-
>  -accepted; and if I understand them to the right degree; I don't
> understand
> why any language has more than three tones.  To wit, a rising tone, a
> falling
> tone, and a level tone: with no distinction between two different rises,
> nor
> two different falls, nor two different level tones; and also, with no
> contour
> tones.
> <snip questions>

> Any information related to the above questions will be appreciated.
> Thanks.

I suspect many of the questions will have a simple answer - consonant
clusters and how each simplification adds a tone. I'm thinking of Middle
Chinese, which Bernhard Karlgren reconstructed to show complex consonant
clustering, as compared to modern Mandarin, which obviously has much
simplified phonotactics.