COMMENTS: Hiksilipsi Tone
|From:||jesse stephen bangs <jaspax@...>|
|Date:||Wednesday, April 17, 2002, 17:24|
This is a brief sketch for comments of the tone system in the recently
First, some comments. I have heard it said that languages which use
multiple contour tones tend to be monosyllabic, and that polysyllabic
tonal languages always use a tonal accent. This disheartened me, since I
wanted to make Hiksilipsi into a contour-tone language (it was originally
a pitch-accent language), but after a while I decided to disregard the
universals and charge ahead. If anyone thinks I should have more respect
for the universal, please say so.
Onward. Hiksilipsi has six tones. The numbers indicate the general shape
of the contours for each tone, where 5 is the highest level tone in the
register and 1 is the lowest:
These tones are further divided into two groups: the upper tones and the
lower tones. The upper tones are the the high, high-falling, and rising
tones, while the lower tones are the mid, low-falling, and low tones.
These tones interact in a pitch-accent-like manner. Each word has a tone
break in it, before which may only occur upper tones, and after which may
only occur lower tones.
The addition of an inherently upper-toned affix may cause the lower-toned
syllables before it to shift to their upper-tone equivalent, according to
the following chart:
mid --> high
low-falling --> high-falling
low(1) --> rising
low(2) --> high
For historical reasons, the low tone may shift to either a high tone or a
I'd give examples, but I don't have my materials with me. Anyway, I think
this system is fairly naturalistic, but still pretty creative. What do
others think of this system's plausability and design?
Jesse S. Bangs firstname.lastname@example.org
"If you look at a thing nine hundred and ninety-nine times, you are
perfectly safe; if you look at it the thousandth time, you are in
frightful danger of seeing it for the first time."