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
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ndi: “I” mu: “him” langa: “look (at)”
ba: “they” ba: “they” bona: “see”
ndi la langa ndi la mu langa ndi la ba langa
ba la langa ba la mu langa ba LA ba langa
ndi la bona ndi la mu bona ndi la ba bona
ba LA bona ba LA MU bona ba LA ba bona
No object Object: it Object: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
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
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
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:
%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.