It makes the comparison to a musical staff, does that mean that the difference between the top tone and the bottom tone in a tonal language is a major 5th?
- No, it depends on the speaker's voice, intonation, emotion, etc. There are five slots because that's just about the max in human languages. kwami (talk) 02:10, 29 August 2008 (UTC)
list of all unicode tone letters
- Depends on what you mean by "most people's". If you have installed a font with full tone-letter support, like SIL Charis, then all of them. kwami (talk) 03:05, 3 January 2009 (UTC)
- It also depends on what you mean by "letter" I recently learned that tone letters which show contours are actually ligatures which are created by the font, not unique unicode characters. So I think all tone characters do show on people's computers, just not all ligatured combinations show unless the computer user is viewing at the tone character combination via a font which creates the ligatured combinations. On OS X the default font for the OS does not support tone letter ligatures. Therefore sequential tone letters appear as sequences rather than as angles. Hugh Paterson III (talk) 16:35, 9 January 2015 (UTC)
Chao tone numbers
I noticed that there seem to be no pages that clearly explain the correspondence between tone letters and Chao tone numbers (which are very commonly used in Chinese linguistics, including many pages on Wikipedia), so I've added a table. I've included a line for the Africanist usage of tone numbers (i.e., opposite of Chinese usage), but I know virtually nothing about African linguistics (e.g., whether Africanists use double numbers to describe tones), so please feel free to correct me if I'm wrong. If necessary, we could split the table so that it shows only Chinese usage. Talu42 (talk) 05:12, 25 March 2013 (UTC)
- No, Africanists do not use double numbers, which Sinologists do because of the need to differentiate arbitrary tone numbers (e.g. Wade-Giles pin4 etc.).
- Not everyone uses a 1–5 scale, however. 1–3 is common in Mesoamerica, for example – same polarity as in Asia, but with 3 = high. I've also seen 1–4 and in the case of Omotic 1–6, and there is no good way to convert either to Chao. Sometimes 0 is not a neutral tone but the level below 1: for example, the end-point of falling tones that drop below the level of low tone. — kwami (talk) 22:24, 25 March 2013 (UTC)
Mac rendering of contour tone ligatures
Does anyone mind if I add citations? I see that one is called for on the Omotic languages of Ethiopia. I could add it, but am not a regular wikipedia contributor and am unsure what this page's community feels about edits without prior discussion.
Languages claimed to have six level tones:
- Dihoff, Ivan. 1976. Aspects of the tonal structure of Chori. Doctoral dissertation, University of Wisconsin.
ISO 639-3 code: [cry]
- Wedekind, Klaus. 1983. A Six-Tone Language in Ethiopia: Tonal analysis of Benč⁴ non⁴ (Gimira). Journal of Ethiopian Studies vol. 16: 129-56.