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Tone Marks

From:Jim Grossmann <steven@...>
Date:Monday, February 18, 2002, 6:28

I'm offering this post in case anyone else is struggling with tone marks.

A while back, I converted one of my languages into a register tone language
with two tones, high and low.

I used acute accents on the vowels to mark high tone, as per Ladefoged's
'Course in Phonetics.'
I departed from Ladefoged by leaving low-tone vowels without an accent,
instead of using the grave accent.

To put all these accents in, I had to use special characters.  My Word 2000
makes it clumsy to use these, and especially clumsy to use them in the
Replace function, which is programmed to second guess every &&*(^%ing word I
try to write in it.

It's much easier to use special characters in Word Pad, and I intend to
write my next language in that program.   However, with tens of pages in
Word, I've decided to come up with my own tone marking scheme.   It's not
really phonetic:   the tone marks don't mark vowel letters.   But this
system has two virtues:  it requires no special characters, and presents the
reader with more visual variety than the accent marks I used before.

;       means that the previous syllable(s) is/are low and the following is/are

cru;do  "cru" is low;   "do" is high

'       means that the previous syllable(s) is/are high and the following is/are

a'xlo           "a" is high;   "xlo" is low

"       at the end of a word means that all the syllables in the word have high

Words in which all syllables have low tone are not marked.

I'm sure that others have thought of different ways to convey tone without
using special characters.   I hope that all you others post too.

Jim G.


John Cowan <cowan@...>
Christophe Grandsire <christophe.grandsire@...>
Herman Miller <hmiller@...>
Bob Greenwade <bob.greenwade@...>
John Cowan <cowan@...>
Herman Miller <hmiller@...>
Christophe Grandsire <christophe.grandsire@...>