Tone Languages by Kenneth L. Pike

By Kenneth L. Pike

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For a d i s c u s s i o n in much g r e a t e r d e t a i l see Chao and Yang, Spoken Chinese, x v i i i - x i x . Chao n o t e s t h a t a t t h e end of an u t t e r a n c e t h e n e u t r a l t o neme t e n d s t o have h a l f - l o w p i t c h a f t e r t h e toneme 1, middle p i t c h a f t e r toneme 2 , h a l f - h i g h p i t c h a f t e r toneme 3> a nd low p i t c h a f t e r toneme 4 . Observe t h e samples in t h e f o l l o w i n g t a b l e ( r e p r o duced, by p e r m i s s i o n , from Spoken C h i n e s e ; f o r an e x p l a n a t i o n of the tone l e t t e r s , see p.

No. 38 [Baltimore, 19M+], 23). Cornyn also s t a t e s (32): "When the members of a doubled verb are a negated verb f i r s t member followed by a verb with prefixed t a - , the juncture i s open. The f i r s t member, if tone I , changes to tone I I I . " Note hmi in hmide' 'reaches' and mahml tahml 'not quite r e a c h i n g ' ; no optional unchanged form is recorded for t h i s type. For further minor items see pp. 20 and 29 in the same publication. For Hagu (Amoy) see pp. 82-8U, note 6. 'Y.

The different types of changes combine to give so many variables that it is difficult for the investigator to handle them discriminatingly, or even to find a solid, stable starting point from which to begin their classification. Overlapping types of change threaten to introduce errors which may vitiate one's conclusions. A methodology must be developed which discovers pitch contrasts in spite of these characteristics. For such a procedure see Part II. 3. Dialectal Change of Tonemes Over an extended geographical area tonemes may be different in separate dialects of the same language.

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