When are Pitch-accents and Tonemes too bothersome?
|From:||Robert Eaglestone <downport@...>|
|Date:||Wednesday, April 14, 2004, 13:41|
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:
Na.su' Shar.ik. "Sharik is bothersome."
Na.su. Shar.ik. "Sharik is becoming bothersome."
Na'su. Shar.ik. "Sharik is becoming less bothersome."
Na.da'su. Shar'ik. E.ne.ri. "Sharik bothers Eneri."
Na.da.su. Shar'ik. E.ne.ri. "Sharik is beginning to bother Eneri."
Na'da.su. Shar'ik. E.ne.ri. "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?
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?