Tone height binarity and register in intonation: the case from Kayardild (Australian)

Erich Round, Yale University

Autosegmental–metrical analyses of intonation typically assume a binary opposition between L/H tones, realised as pitch targets within some local pitch range, or register. In principle, register setting is considered phonologically independent of tone, and there is evidence that this is so in Kayardild. However, because tone and register may be independent, a theoretical concern is that an ostensibly three-leveled tone system could be analysed in terms of binary tone plus careful register setting. Plateau contours in Kayardild are based superficially around three tone levels, but arguments are identified that just two phonological tones are involved, plus a form of register control that characterises the entire system.