On Thu, 10 Jul 2008 01:53:45 -0400, ROGER MILLS wrote:
>Alex Fink wrote:
>>On Wed, 9 Jul 2008 23:46:09 +0100, David McCann wrote:
>> >Imagine a language with /bas/ and /bat/. If the contrast between /p/
>> >and /b/ is lost, /ba-/ is likely to acquire a high or rising tone in
>> >becoming /pa-/.
>>_High_ or rising?  AIUI voiced stops in the onset are supposed to have a
>>lowering effect, generally I believe because of (possibly subphonemic)
>>breathiness, so they'd yield low (or rising?) tones.
>That's my understanding too.......... So pa- < *ba- will have low tone,
>while pa- < *pa- will be high.

I third this nagging suspicion.

I've also seen the claim that no language ever originally *develop'd* tone from 
initial consonants; that their effect is much subtler than that of codas, and so 
a split thus conditioned may only occur in a language that's tonal to begin with.

Tone developing from pitch accent is also a pathway to remember. And then 
there's the fact that a tone system may change without external motivation 
("drift"), especially once there's any sort of a countour contrast in place. BTW, 
I'm under the impression that "glide" tones are included under contour tones, 
as long as the "glideness" is phonemic. Er, tonemic.

Personally tho, I would be much more interested in what *effects* tones may 
have. Stress can trigger all kinds of things, but tone? And I mean level / 
countour tone, not "register tone" (creaky / clear / brethy / etc). Can it 
trigger even vowel quality changes, or is it a dead-end feature that just won't 
affect anything else?

John Vertical