Tone in Yongning Na: Lexical tones and morphotonology

Alexis Michaud  


tone systems, Yongning Na, Narua, Mosuo, morphotonology, lexical tone


Yongning Na, also known as Mosuo, is a Sino-Tibetan language spoken in Southwest China. This book provides a description and analysis of its tone system, progressing from lexical tones towards morphotonology. Tonal changes permeate numerous aspects of the morphosyntax of Yongning Na. They are not the product of a small set of phonological rules, but of a host of rules that are restricted to specific morphosyntactic contexts. Rich morphotonological systems have been reported in this area of Sino-Tibetan, but book-length descriptions remain few. This study of an endangered language contributes to a better understanding of the diversity of prosodic systems in East Asia.

The analysis is based on original fieldwork data (made available online), collected over the course of ten years, commencing in 2006.


Author Biography

Alexis Michaud, CNRS

Alexis Michaud (1975) holds a PhD in Phonetics from Sorbonne Nouvelle University. In 2006 he joined Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique as a researcher. He does fieldwork on the Naish subgroup of Sino-Tibetan and on the Vietic subgroup of Austroasiatic. In addition to phonetics/phonology, he has an interest in historical linguistics, and a commitment to linguistic documentation – tapping the potential of the new technologies to build and exploit high-quality databases of rare and endangered languages.

Alexis Michaud (1975) est titulaire d’un doctorat en phonétique de l’Université Paris 3 – Sorbonne Nouvelle ; depuis 2006, il travaille au Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique. Il mène des enquêtes linguistiques au sujet de parlers du groupe naish (famille sino-tibétaine) et du groupe vietique (famille austroasiatique). Outre la phonétique/phonologie, il s’intéresse à la linguistique historique, ainsi qu’à l’emploi des nouvelles technologies pour la constitution et l’exploitation de bases de données de langues rares et en danger.

book cover


May 19, 2017
LaTeX source on GitHub
Cite as
Michaud, Alexis. 2017. Tone in Yongning Na: Lexical tones and morphotonology. (Studies in Diversity Linguistics 13). Berlin: Language Science Press. DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.439004


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Details about the available publication format: Hardcover


ISBN-13 (15)