Question about tonal languages.

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Nachtuil
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Question about tonal languages.

Post by Nachtuil » 20 Oct 2016 21:13

Are there tonal languages which have vowel inventories where a vowel or two only ever are used in one tone?
Like say you had /i y u e a/ with 2 or 3 tones each but for /a/ which only ever sees use as a low or middle tone.

Might such a system develop if a certain vowel only exists in loan words?

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Isfendil
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Re: Question about tonal languages.

Post by Isfendil » 20 Oct 2016 22:58

I don't know if such exists but it sounds very plausible to me. Certain tones I think can even assimilate vowels, and yes the loanword posit is also probable. This isn't exactly the same but there a few rare words in Mandarin which have no homophones but they still have a specific tone. Tones are phonemes, after all.

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abi
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Re: Question about tonal languages.

Post by abi » 21 Oct 2016 04:51

You might find these interesting:
http://www.meertens.knaw.nl/pdf/variati ... onohue.pdf

http://www.phonetik.uni-muenchen.de/~ho ... le_tal.pdf

http://mproctor.net/docs/shaw14_ISSP_tone-vowel.pdf

http://gep.ruhosting.nl/carlos/naravoweldurationtex.pdf

http://roa.rutgers.edu/files/266-0698/2 ... NG-9-0.PDF

Based on what I've read the height of a vowel can affect its interaction with tone. In the first paper it says that /i/ is allophonically [ei] when it takes a low tone. You could explain a vowel only taking one tone by it's diphthong allophone somehow being lost (either by being dropped or being re-analyzed by speakers as a different vowel). Another factor you could play with is vowel length or nasalization.

Nachtuil
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Re: Question about tonal languages.

Post by Nachtuil » 21 Oct 2016 17:53

Isfendil wrote:I don't know if such exists but it sounds very plausible to me. Certain tones I think can even assimilate vowels, and yes the loanword posit is also probable. This isn't exactly the same but there a few rare words in Mandarin which have no homophones but they still have a specific tone. Tones are phonemes, after all.
That's interesting and good to know, thanks! I will check that out about mandarin.

Abi, thank you. I will check those out :)

Nachtuil
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Re: Question about tonal languages.

Post by Nachtuil » 24 Oct 2016 06:10

abi wrote:You might find these interesting:
http://www.meertens.knaw.nl/pdf/variati ... onohue.pdf

http://www.phonetik.uni-muenchen.de/~ho ... le_tal.pdf

http://mproctor.net/docs/shaw14_ISSP_tone-vowel.pdf

http://gep.ruhosting.nl/carlos/naravoweldurationtex.pdf

http://roa.rutgers.edu/files/266-0698/2 ... NG-9-0.PDF

Based on what I've read the height of a vowel can affect its interaction with tone. In the first paper it says that /i/ is allophonically [ei] when it takes a low tone. You could explain a vowel only taking one tone by it's diphthong allophone somehow being lost (either by being dropped or being re-analyzed by speakers as a different vowel). Another factor you could play with is vowel length or nasalization.
Stuff like this is more less just what I was hoping for. Thank you so much! One of the papers is rather long but I skimmed it and looked at the patterns. It is super fascinating and fascinating to see tone play a role in some Dutch dialects.

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