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Questions tagged [tone]

The phonemic use of pitch.

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The tone the last syllable of a word

bảo tàng, the last tone is huyền. However, you can hear it pronounced as a rising tone pattern in Google Translate. Please tell me what's the cause of the change?
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How to create a tone continuum in Praat?

I've been trying to create some tone continua in Praat using the different tonal contrasts in Mandarin. Specifically, I want to set one tone (tonal contour) as one endpoint of the continuum and ...
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Is it possible to calculate the slope of F0 for a bidirectional tone?

Background: I'm running a project to look at which auditory features predict people's reactions to contour tones. I used both unidirectional tones (e.g., a rising tone starts at 100hz and ends at ...
M. Tang's user avatar
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Synthesize tone contours?

Is there software that I can use to synthesize how a hypothetical tone contour would sound? I'm aware of "sound from formula" feature in Praat, but I'm unsure how to create the right formula ...
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Orthographies that use diacritics to mark grammatical tone

Are there any orthographies that use diacritics to mark grammatical tone instead of lexical tone? Or a combination of both?
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Might tones affect vowel quality?

Is there any language that has tone-based allophonic variation? For example, /e/ and /o/ might become [ɛ] and [ɔ] ─ literally being lowered ─ with low tone. Or since back vowels are inherently lower ...
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Tone vs Intonation in English -- does English use tones in any situation to convey meaning?

I took some Mandarin in college and I believe (IIRC) the concept of tones was introduced to us English speakers by showing how we use "rising tone" for questions. But a comment to a recent ...
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Do non-tonal languages evolve into tonal languages?

I have read that the language in China did not always use tones or was less reliant on them. Native speakers have emphasized to me how much more compactly the same idea can be expressed in Mandarin ...
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Does a toneless syllable have no f0? How to distinguish a toneless syllable? Please help

If I put speech data on praat, how will I be able to tell which syllable is toneless in a tonal language since the tbu has a vowel already. And the vowel also has got f0.
Inquisitor's user avatar
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Is there a name for a sound that is a combination of multiple tones under one breath?

William Smalley was the one that was credited for creating the Romanized Popular Alphabet (RPA) to be used in the Mong/Hmong language. He used the D marker to distinguish the tone shift from M to V ...
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Complete list of possible tone sequences across languages?

Wikipedia has all the tones for 3 languages listed on the Tone numerals page. Do we have anything more robust, including at least the possible tones for other popular languages such as Thai, Tibetan, ...
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Does double tone mean long vowel?

After looking into the IPA for some words in tonal languages, I am starting to see things like ăn (Vietnamese), which are transcribed with two like tone marks, like ʔan˧˧. What does it mean when two ...
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Plotting multiple pitch contours on a single graph

I am doing an experiment on Mandarin tone discrimantion and I would like to plot the tone contours of the speakers. I know how to do it in Praat for every tone separately, (View & Edit -> Pitch ...
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Aren't all spoken languages tonal?

From my understanding, a tonal language is when a difference intonation of the word changes its meaning. Now: Italian for example (which I was told is not tonal) differentiates questions from ...
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Are there highly analytic (isolating) languages without tone?

I know many highly analytic languages (Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai) are tonal languages. Are there similarly analytic or isolating languages that don't use tone the way those languages do? The closest I ...
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Can anyone help me to resolve an issue relating to F0 and audio data?

I made a textgrid of the sentence "I quite like cheese a lot." and created three tiers and marked the sentence, word (cheese) and the nucleus of cheese to examine the f0. Then I used a ...
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tones of ipa audio examples

I know many resources for IPA consonants and vowels, but those for tones are hard to search for on the Internet. Is there any? My understanding is that there are five pitches and tones are how the ...
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Is there any natural language having minimal pairs over tongue root position?

I am building a conlang, which is very likely going to be an isolating language. As such, I decided to make it a tonal language. But there is a problem. This language is to be sung very often, so ...
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Are there any languages that have tones that shift over vowels in a single syllable?

I am wondering about tones. Specifically, wondering if there are cases where a tone shifts from one vowel to the next, perhaps in some language like Mandarin Chinese or Vietnamese, if not some African ...
Lance's user avatar
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What is "˥˩" in the IPA?

While reading the Wikipedia page on voiced bilabial trill, I came across a transcription in the occurrence section which looks like: [tʙ̩˥˩] The word is from Lizu language and means 'bean'. What is ...
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Resources on stress, tone and pitch evolution

I am interested in the stress, tone and pitch (STP) aspects of historical linguistics. How do phonetic and other types of changes affect STP changes? How do languages end up with entirely different ...
Selewirre's user avatar
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In tonal languages, what is the tone relative to?

According to https://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tone_language A tone language, or tonal language, is a language in which words can differ in tones (like pitches in music) in addition to consonants and ...
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Number of tones in Cantonese vs. Mandarin and final stops

The emergence of tones in Chinese languages (and actually most tonal languages) is, roughly speaking, due to the loss of final consonnants of syllables at an earlier stage of the language. In ...
Erithacus Rubecula's user avatar
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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 ...
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Innovations in speech rhythm and tone

I enjoy language columns, such as Johnson in The Economist, which discuss the evolution of language. But I notice that such columns tend to focus only on certain dimensions of language: new words, ...
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Do any languages use distinct graphemes for vowels with different tones?

As far as I know, most writing systems for tonal languages fall into one of four groups: The writing system is not phonetic (e.g. Han logograms) Tone is not generally indicated in writing (e.g. many ...
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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 ...
Rustang's user avatar
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(How) can autosegmental theories of tone account for pitch contours with more changes of direction than there are segments?

I had been interested in the idea that tone contours are due to practical limitations in following an underlying target path that is always a straight line, as proposed by Xu. However, this theory ...
JD2000's user avatar
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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-...
Draconis's user avatar
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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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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, ...
Draconis's user avatar
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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 ...
C.K.'s user avatar
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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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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 ...
unknown_person_1000's user avatar
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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 ...
Lance's user avatar
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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 ...
Lance's user avatar
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-1 votes
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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 ...
Lance's user avatar
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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 ...
Lance's user avatar
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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 ...
Lance's user avatar
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1 vote
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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 ...
Lance's user avatar
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1 vote
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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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3 votes
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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 ...
Teusz's user avatar
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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 ...
Tingyu Huang's user avatar
13 votes
2 answers
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 ...
suckrates's user avatar
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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?
Teusz's user avatar
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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 ...
Teusz's user avatar
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2 votes
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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 (...
Teusz's user avatar
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6 votes
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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: ...
Johannes's user avatar
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1 answer
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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 ...
WavesWashSands's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
7k 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 ...
xji's user avatar
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