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Any of the phonemes of a tone language by which tone conveys differences in lexical meaning.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(Linguistics) linguistics a phoneme that is distinguished from another phoneme only by its tone
[C20: from tone + -eme]
toˈnemic adj
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈtoʊ nim)

a phoneme in a tone language in which the contrastive feature is tone.
to•ne′mic, adj.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The opposition of the so-called "broken syllable intonation" and "falling syllable intonation" in deep Latgallian subdialects is phonologically realized by a specific prosodic feature--sharp (usually with glottalization) or level changes of the intensity and the fundamental pitch, while this contrast is even intensified by quantitative differences as the level toneme is longer than the sharp one.
YESTERDAY'S SOLUTION: emmer; emmet; emote; emoter; meet; meme; memento; memo; meno; mento; mentor; mere; mete; meteor; meter; metre; metro; METRONOME; moment; mono; monomer; MONOTREME; monte; moon; moor; moot; more; moreen; morn; moron; mort; mote; motor; neem; nome; norm; omen; remote; room; teem; term; tome; toneme.
(1) *-0 [??] (A): The (A) toneme is a trace of the morphophonological affix null.
Navarro Tomas claims that contrastive or phonological intonational meaning is confined to the final tonal movements of an utterance (toneme).
Despite a century of research, the basic concept of the tonemes as 'atomic units' has not changed.
Ganza has two phonemic tones or tonemes, high (H) and low (L), both of which can occur as either associated or unassociated (floating) tones in the underlying form.
However, the tonemes are not shown in my transcriptions.
Two basic tonemes are distinguished, namely, a high tone (') and a low tone ('), although more detailed distinctions can be drawn.
But how either or both of these differ from his "tonemes," which suddenly put in an appearance on p.