What's Wrong with These Tones?
|From:||Jim Grossmann <steven@...>|
|Date:||Thursday, May 20, 1999, 5:00|
I'm turning one of my oldest languages into a tone language.
In my scheme, tone is used to mark word classes.
Nouns and pronouns are all hi roots, low suffixes
Modifiers are all hi roots, high suffixes
Verbs & Postpositions lo roots, high suffixes
Other word classes all low
These tones, together with pure vowel/diphthong alternations, mark
subclasses of words like common-case, genitive, locative nouns, etc.
Only stressed syllables have tones; unstressed syllables have so-called
"neutral" tone, and the only vowel sound permitted in an unstressed syllable
is the schwa.
Is is unnatural or awkward to have words with all high tones?
In a register tone language with two tones, high and low, which tone is more
Is the scheme at all natural?
More importantly, are there reasons why it would be difficult to learn or
use in comparison with natural systems?