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 ?
Chapter four, "Melody," focuses upon linguistic intonation--"organized pitch patterns at the postlexical level" (182)--but discusses tone languages as well.
The flat structures in (3) and (4) have been motivated strongly by data from tone languages but still need to be evaluated with regard to intonation languages.