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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 word melody was then transferred to the initial syllable, yielding a tonemic opposition on long nuclei.
We are using the "x-sampa-SI-reduced" phonetic alphabet, a subset of the X-SAMPA set as defined for Slovenian (Zemljak et al., 2002), augmented with additional markers for Slovenian lexical stress accents (acute, circumflex, and grave) and tonemic accents (tonemic acute and tonemic circumflex).
Clyne (2003 : 76-80) discusses the following types of transference: lexical, multiple, morphemic, semantic, syntactic, lexicosyntactic, semanticosyntactic, phonological, phonic, graphemic, prosodic, tonemic, and pragmatic.