Questions tagged [tonal-languages]

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8
votes
2answers
134 views

How do tonal-language speakers use tonality when speaking non-tonal languages?

First post. Wanted to title it "Speaking in tones," but that's not very informative. Long ago, I learned a little about talking drums and whistle speech as long-range communication tools ...
1
vote
1answer
284 views

What does the absence of a tonal marking on a word in a tonal language imply?

I'm not a linguist and only studying a linguistic subject as an elective so I hope this makes sense: If I've determined a language is tonal based off the numbers assigned to each word, how am I to ...
2
votes
1answer
492 views

Tonal languages: breath in -or- breath out?

I have a hunch and I'm not sure if it is correct or not: it seems like tonal languages prefer an exhalated pronunciation over an inhalated pronunciation. My original thinking was that it shouldn't ...
3
votes
1answer
187 views

Limitations of the parrot speech?

I was seeing a video of a parrot speaking Korean, and I thought the way the parrots distinct between aspiration. As I am not Korean, I really do not know. What kind of distinctions a parrot can make ...
1
vote
2answers
77 views

How much weight do tones carry in differentiating languages/dialects?

Language and dialect distinction is very simple when everything is phonetically different. Do (read:can) tones carry the same weight? Let's take one extreme: two languages share the same words & ...
4
votes
1answer
119 views

'Interstitial' tones in Thai

You don't have to listen to authentic Thai for very long to realize that comparatively few words are pronounced with the dictionary tone. All the learning material out there seems to be focused on ...
5
votes
1answer
155 views

What might account for different numbers of formants in plots of male and female speakers pronouncing the same vowel?

I have been looking at a Thai vowel in Praat. I have several exponents from native speakers, though only one of them is male. The female plots all show four formants. The male plot shows five ...
2
votes
1answer
219 views

How is “rising tone” the same in all tonal languages?

If we compare two unrelated languages with lexical tone, where both languages have the same number of tonal contrasts, are there any universals/tendencies regarding: the kinds of tonal contrasts (...
7
votes
4answers
983 views

Tone Languages and distinguishing meaning

I am new to learning all of this and had a couple of questions. Tone languages use pitch to distinguish words. For example, in Thai nā with a mid-tone meaning "rice paddy". nǎ with a rising tone ...
1
vote
1answer
157 views

Non-tonal (and tonal) languages and inflection

I want to know whethere there are any standards that would allow a non-tonal (or tonal) spoken language like English to be augmented with diacritics to denote how the tone varies, as the entire ...
4
votes
3answers
946 views

Which methodology is use for comparative study between two languages?

I want to study between two languages. In that one is classical language and other is tongue language. How can I compare that two category? Which criteria is used for comparative study? I want to ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Is Thai less tonal than Chinese or Vietnamese or Burmese?

I'm curious about the comparative reliance on tonality in Asian languages. By this I mean not the number of tones, but the frequency of tonal versus non-tonal words in communication. (When I say non-...
5
votes
1answer
6k views

Difference between pitch and intensity

I would like to understand what is the difference in lignuistic betwen pitch and intensity. On the picture (taken from native HK speaker), I have a Cantonese sentence. Nei5 Jiu3 Caa4 Maa3 ? ...
5
votes
1answer
739 views

Are there tonal languages which use a rising intonation for questions?

I know that in the case of Mandarin Chinese questions do not end with any kind of rising tone unless the last morpheme in the sentence happens to have a rising tone. For questions which don't contain ...
3
votes
1answer
379 views

Term for homophones in tonal languages which share phonemes but have different tones?

In English we have several terms, "homonym", "homophone", and "homograph". The first one is disliked by linguists as being too vague though might be best used for words with separate etymologies that ...
5
votes
3answers
692 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
587 views

Non-tonal “isolates” within families of tonal languages

I've put "isolates" in scare quotes because this is probably not a standard meaning for the term "language isolate". But anyway I'm sure it's still abvious what I'm looking for. I was wondering about ...
4
votes
6answers
6k views

Tonal Language with more than 5 tones

I'm searching for languages which use a lot of different tones. The one with the most tones I found was Thai which has 5 tones. Are their tonal languages with use more distinct tones than thai?
11
votes
1answer
553 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 ...
3
votes
0answers
625 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
2k views

Do native speakers of language with lexical tone have difficulty learning another language with more or different lexical tones?

Have there been any studies done on say Mandarin native speakers who learn as adults other languages which have more lexical tones or which have lexical tones different to Mandarin? I believe for ...
15
votes
4answers
6k 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 ...