tone language

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tone language

n.
A language, as Mandarin or Somali, in which pitch or the pitch contour distinguishes the meanings of words that are otherwise the same phonologically.

tone language

n
(Linguistics) a language, such as Chinese or certain African languages, in which differences in tone may make differences in meaning

tone′ lan`guage


n.
a language, as Chinese or Yoruba, in which words that are otherwise phonologically identical are distinguished by having different pitches or pitch contour.
[1905–10]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.tone language - a language in which different tones distinguish different meaningstone language - a language in which different tones distinguish different meanings
natural language, tongue - a human written or spoken language used by a community; opposed to e.g. a computer language
contour language - a tone language that uses pitch changes
register language - a tone language that uses different voice registers
tonal system, tone system - the system of tones used in a particular language or dialect of a tone language
Translations
Tonsprache
References in periodicals archive ?
As such, the configurations of pitch are used to create words or lexemes as in tone languages.
Whalen & Levitt's (1995) study of 31 languages reports that intrinsic pitch exists for African tone languages such as Isekiri (Ladefoged 1968), Hausa (Pilszczikowa-Chodak 1972) and Yoruba (Hombert 1977).
Chapter four, "Melody," focuses upon linguistic intonation--"organized pitch patterns at the postlexical level" (182)--but discusses tone languages as well.