Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   

Contour tone question

From:Josh Brandt-Young <vionau@...>
Date:Monday, February 17, 2003, 7:15

I'm finally digging in and working on a language with phonemic tone
(inspired largely by Mende, Yoruba and Hausa) and I have a question for all
you tone experts about contour tone realisation.

In Yoruba, there are three contrastive tone levels; however, a syllable at
one tone extreme following a syllable at the other extreme is realised as
falling/rising instead of steady. For example, /átà/ would be pronounced
[átâ], the second syllable having falling tone. My question is this:

Supposing we designate the three contrastive levels as 1 (low), 3 (mid) and
5 (high), what would the contour tones be most likely to be? Would the
example above have a final syllable 5-1, or 4-1, or 4-2, or what? I could
probably find this out for Yoruba specifically, but I'm curious about your
instincts for languages in general.


Josh Brandt-Young <vionau@...>
"After the tempest I behold, once more, the weasel."
(Mispronunciation of Ancient Greek)