Paradigmatic accent systems.

2015. №3, 32-51

Vladimir A. Dybo
Institute of Slavic Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, 119334, Russia;


The paper illustrates a hypothesis proposed by the author concerning a tonal origin of the Indo-European systems of multi-local phonologically significant accent. The beginning of the article deals with the systems with fixed accent: the most simple type, in which fixation is carried out by counting the syllables, and more complicated systems, which include the quantity or quality of the syllable into the rule of fixation. The latter, in case of losing the factor complicating the rule of fixation and a natural morphonologisation, become the so-called systems of «free accent» or, more accurately, the systems of multi-local accent. Corresponding examples are given. Consideration of Slavic, Baltic and Balto-Slavic paradigmatic accent systems leads to the conclusion that at their base there is an initial-accent system complicated by the tonal (register) character of the vowels.