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Re: When are Pitch-accents and Tonemes too bothersome?

From:Joe <joe@...>
Date:Wednesday, April 14, 2004, 14:07
Robert Eaglestone wrote:

>Dear Conlangers, > >What's a "reasonable" amount of use for a pitch-accent? >Or, when does the use of pitch-accent start to feel >too unnatural or too bothersome? > >Vilani apparently has six 'tones', which I take to mean >six pitch-accent tonal patterns (or uses, even); perhaps >the pitch-accents are tonemes. For example, nouns could >be case-marked using pitch, as in > > Shar'ik. <= agent > Shar.ik. <= patient > Shar.ik' <= dative/benefactive obj > >And verbs could be aspect-marked using pitch: > >' Shar.ik. "Sharik is bothersome." > Shar.ik. "Sharik is becoming bothersome." > Na'su. Shar.ik. "Sharik is becoming less bothersome." > > Na.da'su. Shar'ik. "Sharik bothers Eneri." > Shar'ik. "Sharik is beginning to bother Eneri." > Na' Shar'ik. "Sharik no longer bothers Eneri." > >My question is: how much is too much? How much farther >can this be stretched out? Or is it too stretched already? > > >
It's not too streched out unless you think it is. But if your language has phonemic tones, why not use them?
>I guess my root question is: given that this is intended to >be a human language, what is a reasonable limit of the amount >of semantic information that tonemes ought to carry? > > >
See, I don't see that there is a reasonable limit. If people can understand tones as phonemic, they carry essentially the same value as any other sound, and, as such, can be stretched out as much as you like. The main obstacle would be the number of tones - you wouldn't really want to have many more than six, and certainly no more than ten.


Adam Walker <carrajena@...>