The phonemic use of pitch.

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3
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1answer
97 views

On Lao triphthongs / tones / orthography

Information on the Lao language is a bit patchy, especially when you start getting a little deeper and find gaps, inconsistencies, and contradictions in and between sources on the Internet. Lao vowel ...
-1
votes
2answers
201 views

How many different distinctive sounds can an average human make?

If we wanted to create an all new alphabet composed of as much letters as possible, with each letter corresponding to one distinctive sound. What's the maximum amount of letters we could have? Oh and ...
0
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0answers
71 views

Mandarin Chinese syllable and tone frequency (not character frequency)

There's plenty of good resources on Chinese character frequency available. But I'm wondering about syllable frequency independent of characters, and also tone frequency both separate and in ...
4
votes
2answers
174 views

Most tones contrasting by pitch and not just contour?

Lately I've been wondering a lot whether or not there's an upper limit on how many contrasting tones a language can have that differ primarily by pitch difference and not so much by the shape or ...
1
vote
0answers
75 views

Gender/tone sandhi in [classical] Tibetan grammar?

Tibetan alphabet is a kind of abugida where glyphs may combine into new different forms, taking different positions in their combinations according to their types (see H.B. Hannah, pp. 16- 45). Each ...
1
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0answers
69 views

Can someone confirm the Lao language tones in the greeting “sabaidi” [closed]

In Thai สบายดี is sà-bāɪ-dīː(sà with a low tone, bāɪ and dī with mid tones). In Lao ສະບາຍດີ is sá-bàɪ-dìː (sá with a high tone, bàɪ and dìː with low tones). Okay, I need confirmation on the tones in ...
1
vote
0answers
22 views

Searching for the rules of tone sandhi in Lao

Most tonal languages have tone sandhi, which consists of rules whereby the standard/default/dictionary tones of words/syllables change due to which tones occur in adjacent words/syllables. But I am ...
8
votes
1answer
144 views

Are tones “preserved” when borrowing between unrelated tonal languages?

Let's consider just borrowing between unrelated, national/standardized tonal languages, just in case borrowing between related languages might be a special case and borrowing between non standardized ...
2
votes
0answers
58 views

What are common tone patterns for syllables in conversational Tibetan?

Tibetan alphabet is an abugida divided by groups of four syllables in tonally descending order. The syllables can combine into ligatures with other syllables by either writing a (part of a) syllable ...
4
votes
1answer
471 views

How do sentence intonation and (syllable-based) tone interact in tone languages?

Tone languages use intonation to distinguish words. For example, in Mandarin Chinese mā with a mid tone means mom mǎ with a rising tone means horse Intonation languages do not make such ...
3
votes
0answers
69 views

How is tone assigned to loanwords borrowed from non-tonal languages? [duplicate]

In a tonal language like Cantonese, how is stress assigned to loanwords (from languages which don't have a tone distinction)? For example, Hong Kong Cantonese has various words borrowed from English, ...
2
votes
0answers
159 views

Do all tonal languages have tone sandhi?

Tone sandhi is the process by which the nominal tones of syllables or words change based on the surrounding context. I know that Mandarin Chinese and Thai have tone sandhi - but is this process ...
6
votes
3answers
637 views

Do native speakers of one tonal language have difficulty learning a language with more or different tones?

Have there been any studies done on say Mandarin native speakers who learn as adults other tonal languages which have more tones or which have tones different to Mandarin? I believe for instance that ...
9
votes
3answers
949 views

How do tones work in music sung in tonal languages, such as Cantonese or Mandarin Chinese?

I have not yet studied tonal languages, so it might be understandable, but when I listen to Chinese music, for example, I'm unable to perceive tones. This makes me think they are partially or ...
6
votes
1answer
516 views

Why are only yes/no questions asked with a rising tone?

There is a rule used almost subconsciously by almost all English speakers (and I'm sure it applies to many other languages too) which is that yes/no questions are asked ending with a rising tone, and ...
0
votes
2answers
127 views

Is tone transcribed/carried on the phoneme /w/?

My knowledge of tonal language is very limited, so I'm not clear on what the case is and unsure about examples, but my question is this: In tonal languages, like Mandarin, is tone carried and ...
12
votes
2answers
226 views

If two syllables in Mandarin have the same vowels but different tones, can the syllables be said to rhyme?

If two syllables in Mandarin have the same vowels but different tones, can the syllables be said to rhyme according to native speakers? I was tempted to ask this question about all tone languages, ...
15
votes
1answer
336 views

How do tone languages assign phonemic tones to loanwords from non-tone languages?

How do tone languages assign phonemic tones to loanwords from non-tone languages? For example, does such assignment vary according to the phonological context in each loanword? Alternatively, does ...
12
votes
4answers
488 views

Why do tone and simple syllable structure appear to be correlated?

I happen to have been struggling to learn a bit of Mandarin Chinese lately, and it's been my first attempt to really deal with tones to any significant extent. I find distinguishing tones quite ...