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Re: Grammatical tones

From:JS Bangs <jaspax@...>
Date:Friday, August 23, 2002, 19:45
Christopher Wright sikyal:

> Bama. > > How plausible is it for tones to have a grammatical rather than lexical > meaning? For instance, where many languages have articles, this one would > have different tones instead. Or perhaps verb number or tense would be > indicated thus.
Very plausible. Tonal morphemes are well-attested cross linguistically, and may take a variety of shapes. They are less common in Sino-tibetan style tone languages, where most tones are contour tones and are tied to one syllable, but even there they occur.
> > That says it all, doesn't it?* > > *Well, not _all_. The minimum amount of time to say everything would be > at least as long as it takes to happen, which is generally agreed to be a > minimum of one hundred thousand billion years. > > Laimes, > Wright. >
Jesse S. Bangs "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." --G.K. Chesterton