A survey of word-level replacive tonal patterns in Western Mande

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10 Scopus citations


Word-level replacive tonal patterns are characteristic of the tonology of many Western Mande languages. Such patterns are explicitly discussed in extant descriptions of some languages but mentioned only in passing or not at all for others. This survey of replacive tonal patterns seeks to offer a broad, more comprehensive picture of this phenomenon in Western Mande by discussing not only major replacive tone patterns, but also highlighting and discussing micro-variations in these patterns across this group. In doing so, I illustrate that patterns of replacive tone generally correlate with and support the recently proposed realignment of classificatory genetic sub-groupings of these languages in Vydrin (2009a, 2016). Because Vydrin's classification is based primarily on comparative lexicostatistics, and not on tonology, this is an interesting finding. This survey is also significant in that it reports on word-level replacive tonal patterns in languages from each of nine well-accepted mid-level genetic taxa in Western Mande, which far surpasses earlier surveys that aimed to catalog and analyze this phenomenon, namely Dwyer (1973) and deZeeuw (1979).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)67-108
Number of pages42
Issue number59
StatePublished - 2018


  • Classification
  • Mande languages
  • Replacive tone
  • Tone overlay
  • Tonology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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