Questions tagged [tone]

The phonemic use of pitch.

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3
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2answers
76 views

What is the most archetypal phonemic-tone system?

As user6726 put it in this answer: There is a misguided tendency to use Chinese as the standard of comparison for tone system, but actually Chinese is the best known but one of the least-...
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2answers
8k views

Is English tonal for some words, like “permit”?

I have heard the difference between tone and intonation described in the following way: Tone is when the pitch of a word determines its meaning. Intonation is when the pitch of a word conveys its ...
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3answers
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Can the IPA represent all languages' tones?

The IPA's current tone system can show five different tone levels, and any contours formed from them. Is there any language for which this is insufficient? In other words, is there any (known, ...
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0answers
24 views

qTA model and lexical tone

I have only recently come across the qTA model and it seemed interesting, but so far it does not fit my connected speech data at all - words with the same tone come out with wildly different pitch ...
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1answer
81 views

Will the pitch of a vowel influence its formant values?

Since that the F0 i.e. the pitch is the first harmonic and all formants are the i-th harmonics, is it possible that the formants of a vowel in a high tone are higher than those in a lower tone? For ...
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1answer
72 views

Simple example of circular tone sandhi?

Are there any particularly simple examples of circular tone sandhi known? For instance, is there an example of a rule in which two tones swap places but the rest are unaffected? Or an example of ...
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1answer
150 views

Whispering in languages heavily dependent on pitch or phonation distinctions

When whispering in English all (segmental) phonological distinctions can – as far as I am aware – still be made, which may be due to redundancy (or simply because voicing is optional). I even ...
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1answer
106 views

How tone shifting actually works - How a speaker navigates the register space

In considering the ways tone might work in languages, I am looking at diagrams of 5 rows (registers I'm guessing) in which you can create tones that shift up and down the registers. Some examples of ...
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2answers
56 views

Example of stress or tone on a consonant

Wondering if there is such thing as stress on a consonant, e.g. t́, ĺ, ḿ, ś, ʃ́... If so, what the example language would be. I haven't seen any on Wikipedia. Same thing for tone, I haven't seen ...
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1answer
103 views

How complex contour tones get in languages

So I have seen a few tonal languages, such as Thai, Mandarin Chinese, and Cantonese: I'm not too familiar with which other languages have tonal features. But I'm wondering if there are any ...
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1answer
137 views

Understanding 5-tone register systems

After reading through the Tone Wikipedia page, I get the gist of it. Basically there are register tone systems (like Bantu languages) and contour tone systems (like Mandarin Chinese). In contour tone ...
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1answer
138 views

Most complex examples of tones in tonal languages

Wondering what the most complex examples are of tonal languages, and what its features are. In Chinese there are 4 or 5 tones, but they are relatively simple (contour changes, move up, down, down then ...
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2answers
274 views

Types of Sound Variations (Like Accents and Tones) in Languages

So in Spanish and other languages there are accents like: café tú And in Chinese there are tone shifts as in this graphic: The tones are accounted for in English / Romanization by adding accent ...
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1answer
59 views

What impact does it bring if the tone values of a tone language are generally lowered?

Tones in a tone language have values marked by 1 to 5. If a sound change happens by which tone values become lowered in some cases, e.g. the standard value of a tone in Mandarin is 214, while the ...
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1answer
114 views

What’s a good example a language phenomena in which f0 is NOT correlated to pitch?

It’s standard doctrine that “pitch is perceived f0”, and that f0 is phonetic and corresponds to pitch which is phonological ... no problem there. (Even if this is a simplification) But I wonder if ...
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1answer
105 views

high tone retention

Is high tone retention typologically true? When one of the two adjacent vowels at a word boundary undergoes deletion, one of the two tones also undergoes deletion. And it is said that high tone is ...
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2answers
2k views

How does ghetto talk work in tonal languages?

Among historically low income/education groups in the US and in my native Mexico City, "ghetto talk" is heavy on the use of pitch to convey meaning. I've always attributed this to people compensating ...
3
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1answer
89 views

Tone associated to segments other than vowels

Are there languages in which lexical tone can associate to semivowels or glottal stops, or does tone ALWAYS associate only to vowels when it is realized in a spoken word?
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2answers
84 views

Are there necessary and sufficient features for categorizing tone using only f0?

Imagine i gave you recordings of a few syllables in an unknown language, but told you that there are H and L tones in that language. In that case you could probably distinguish H from the L syllables ...
2
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1answer
176 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 (...
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2answers
352 views

The accentual (Tone) system of Ancient Greek

This question is presented with the help of the sources from Wikipedia. The Greek diacritics were introduced by Aristophanes of Byzantium, which became standard in the Middle Ages. My question is: ...
3
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1answer
77 views

What kind of experimental procedures can be used to determine tone values (1-5)?

Unlike vowel formant frequencies, tones are trickier to determine, since the F0 of a TBU may depend on a lot of factors, such as the speaker's age, gender, mood, etc. Thus, it's quite often the case ...
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2answers
3k views

What is the difference between formant frequencies and pitch frequency?

Sorry if this question sounds a bit basic. I haven’t had a solid grounding in phonology/phonetics yet so I am a bit confused about these concepts. We’re trying to build a model which studies certain ...
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0answers
55 views

What's a simple example of natural classes of tone contours?

I recently learned (in this forum) that natural classes of tones are posited based on the tendency of members of those classes to act together (that is, I suppose, to have the same effect based on a ...
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1answer
53 views

Representing tone in feature matrices

I’m studying feature geometry in my intro to phono course, and we’re looking at tone. One topic which I have trouble getting my head around is the “tonal motivation” for autosegmental phonology; ...
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4answers
789 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 ...
3
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1answer
47 views

How did Goldsmith account for phenomena otherwise explicable with the OCP?

How did Goldsmith account for the OCP using Autosegmental Phonology? I suppose he couldn't accept it because OCP prohibits identical segments (which don't exist, as such in Autosegmental Phonology)...
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1answer
71 views

Transcriptions of Mandarin Chinese into writing systems other than Latin, Arabic and Cyrillic?

I was wondering if Standard Chinese has been transliterated (either officially or unofficially) into writing systems other than the Latin (Pinyin, Wade-Giles), Arabic (Xiao'erjing) or Cyrillic (Dungan ...
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1answer
172 views

In what tonal language is tone uncontroversially suprasegmental and not segmental?

So, it recently came to my attention that Chinese tone is not necessary a suprasegmental feature like I assumed. It seems that some claim it can be analyzed as being subsegmental. If I am interested ...
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1answer
3k views

How are Tone and Intonation languages different acoustically?

On what aspects Tonal languages differ from Intonation languages when analyzing them acoustically? On intonation and tone: Jones (1960) - "the variations which take place in the pitch of the voice ...
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1answer
316 views

What is Fall-plus-Rise (phonetics)?

1) Is it a tone? 2) How do you pronounce it? How it would look like in the intonogram? 3) Is it the same thing as Divided (Extended) Fall-Rise? Are there any differences? 4) Is this tone used for a ...
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1answer
151 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 ...
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2answers
227 views

Can you put tone on any syllable?

I notice that Mandarin has a very simple inventory of sounds and set of possible combinations, whereas some of the languages I'm familiar with which permit more consonant clusters and other ...
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2answers
199 views

Chinese 3rd tone: cross-linguistic comparison

I'm wondering about the rate of occurence of complex tone contours like the Mandarin Chinese third tone, the falling-rising tone. By "complex" I mean that its contour isn't simply a rising, falling, ...
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1answer
971 views

What is autosegmental phonology?

I am an armchair music theorist and trying to read about John Goldsmith's theory of autosegmental phonology. Can someone summarize the basic principles behind his theory for a linguistic layman?
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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-...
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4answers
467 views

Are there documented languages that evolved from tonal to nontonal?

There is a theory about tonogenesis for the Chinese language, thus Chinese had once a more complex syllable-structure and no tones. In the course of time, the syllable structure became less complex ...
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1answer
531 views

What are examples of Haudricourt's tonogenesis in Chinese?

As far as I know, tonogenesis occurs when consonants merge. The merging of initial consonants results in register tones and the merging of final consonants results in contour tones. What are concrete ...
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1answer
296 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 ...
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7answers
19k views

How many different distinctive sounds can an average human make? [closed]

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 ...
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0answers
516 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 ...
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3answers
658 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 ...
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1answer
177 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 ...
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804 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 ...
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0answers
45 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 ...
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1answer
483 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 ...
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0answers
90 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 ...
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1answer
1k 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 ...
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0answers
78 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, ...
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0answers
556 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 ...