Simonović – Morphologically Controlled Tone: A Case Study from BCMS

This course will focus on the interaction of tone and morphological domains in pitch accent languages. The main empirical focus of this course will be on the Neo-Štokavian dialect group of Bosnian/Croatian/Montenegrin/Serbian, where surface prosody (stress and tone) results from an interaction of lexical tone, vowel length and morphological domains. While the speakers/learners of this language may additionally profit from this course, no knowledge of this or any other language is required.

In addition to discussions of generalisations from the existing literature, participants will also gain access to novel data and data collection tools.

 The course assumes familiarity with basic concepts of prosody and morphophonology which can be acquired in the intro course Pitch accent: Stress+Tone?


Becker, M (2007). Tone licensing and categorical alignment in Serbo-Croatian. In Leah Bateman et al. (eds.) University of Massachusetts Occasional Papers in Linguistics 32: Papers in Optimality Theory III. Amherst: GLSA, pp. 1–19.

Langston, K. (1997). Pitch accent in Croatian and Serbian: Towards an autosegmental analysis. Journal of Slavic linguistics, 80-116.

Simonović, M. (2022). Neo-Štokavian deverbal je-nominalisations contain passive participles. Journal of Slavic Linguistics, 30(FASL 29 extra issue), 1-13.

Simonović, M. (2023). Tonal spans in Neo-Štokavian. Ms, University of Graz.

Werle, Adam. (2009). Word, Phrase, and Clitic Prosody in Bosnian, Serbian, and Croatian. University of Massachusetts Amherst PhD dissertation. Amherst: GLSA.

Zec, Draga. Zec, D. (1989). Sonority constraints on prosodic structure. PhD thesis. Stanford University.

Zec, Draga. (1999). Footed tones and tonal feet: Rhythmic constituency in a pitch-accent language. Phonology 16(2), 225–264.

Zec, Draga & Elisabeth Zsiga. (2010). Interaction of stress and tone in Standard Serbian. Formal Approaches to Slavic Linguistics, 18, 535–555.