Questions tagged [tone]

The phonemic use of pitch.

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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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-...
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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, ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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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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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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 ...
13 votes
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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 ...
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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?
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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 ...
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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 (...
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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: ...
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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 ...
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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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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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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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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 ...
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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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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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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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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 ...
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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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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 ...