Typology of the Diminutive Tones in Yuebei

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Previous studies of the tones of the diminutives in Yuebei Tuhua (YBTH) were skewed to dialectal descriptions, and failed to establish a connection to linguistic theory. For this sake, this study targets to fill the gap by bringing Optimality Theory (OT) into the formation of the tones of the diminutive (DTs) in YBTH. A set of faithfulness and markedness constraints is applied to analyze tonal registers and contours of the DTs in YBTH. It is shown that OT works well in the analysis ofthe DTs in YBTH. Moreover, special attention is directed to the factorial typology of tonal registers and contours of the DTs in YBTH, and explains that the unattested type in the voice-register interaction results from the cross-linguistic phonetic markedness.