English and tone languages. John Goldsmith. English as a Tone Language. Some basics about language and speech Tone languages and non-tone languages around the world Intonation in English for those working in speech
English and tone languages
First, some basics about speech and language...
ndi: “I”mu: “him”langa: “look (at)”
ba: “they” ba: “they” bona: “see”
ndi la langa ndi la mu langandi la ba langa
ba la langaba la mu langaba LA ba langa
ndi la bonandi la mu bonandi la ba bona
ba LA bonaba LA MU bonaba LA ba bona
No object Object: itObject:them
I have looked.I have it looked. I have them looked.
they have looked. they have it looked. they HAVE them looked.
I have seen.I have it seen. I have them seen.
they HAVE seen. they HAVE IT seen. they HAVE them seen.
verb: look versus see
acute accent marks High tone; no accent marks Low tone
ba lá mú bon a
Assign melody High Low* (H L*) to certain items (‘ba’ and ‘bon’, etc.),
Spread the High leftward to toneless syllables;
Then delete the first High of each word
ba LA MU bon a
H L H L
This example illustrates the importance of breaking the sound down into the component tones (High, Low) ...
It’s the tone which deletes, and it may have spread -- as in
ndi la mu bona “i have it seen”)
delete this initial H
3. English Intonation
Traditional work on English intonation, plus theoretical models developed in the second half of the 1970s by J.Goldsmith, M. Liberman, and J. Pierrehumbert at MIT.
Ca na da
Ca na da
Shifting to phrasal intonation...
Basic melody formulas, in English as in Tonga, but in English is determined by the message, not by the lexical items (the morphemes).
In general, certain syllables are assigned pitches, and others have a pitch not directly controlled by the "language", but are rather within the idiosyncratic control of the speaker:
Developing some basic intonational formulas
%L H* H* H* L- L%
The President won’t sign the bill tomorrow.
Bill Gates, president of Microsoft, was present at the dinner.
Bill Gates, president of the Microsoft Corporation, was present at the dinner.
Apposition will be either:
L* H H%
H* L H%
H L H
'Cool and 'cloud/y today. 'Show/ers are 'like/ly by this 'af/ter'noon, with 'highs/ in the upper ^60s. It's 'fifty nine degrees at '8:!'10/. This is KUOW. I'm ^Bill^Radke.
[As /might have been an/ticipated],
[/nothing about Kim /Philby]
[was /quite what it /seemed]. [reset]
[In /January 19/6/3] he had been
[/offered a /formal im/munity from prose/cution],
[/specially /authorized by the /Home Secretary and the Di/rector of Public Prose/cutions, and he had ac/cepted it.]
All Highs are High --
but some are Higher than others: assign syntactic and semantic prominence.
(Do it linearly.)
“The last accent is always the most important.”
Not true! ….but this is a rule not without some utility.