What would the symbol look like, and how would it sound like? E.g. a long rhotacized nasalized vowel with tone?


The IPA doesn't set a limit. For example, an overlong breathy nasalized creaky high-tone rhotacized mid central vowel would be ə̰́̃˞ːˑ.

However, the symbols quickly become unwieldy when you're applying too many diacritics. Look at "Zalgo text" for an extreme example. So most if not all linguists would pull off at least one of these diacritics, e.g. by using a tone letter instead of the acute accent: ə̰̃˞ːˑ˦.

  • Technically, the limit is "all of them", there being 31 letters that they label "diacritic".
    – user6726
    Nov 2 '18 at 0:30
  • @user6726 True, though some can be stacked to indicate an even greater degree of whatever. And contour tones in theory can go as far as you want…
    – Draconis
    Nov 2 '18 at 1:14
  • @user6726 Well, not really. For example, a vowel cannot be raised and lowered at the same time. But any number of non-contradictory diacritics, for sure. Nov 15 '18 at 18:20
  • Apart from the fact that breathy and creaky are mutually exclusive, an overlong, nasalised, creaky, high-tone, rhotacised mid-central vowel is basically how I would reproduce a klaxon. Nov 20 '18 at 22:11

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