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Tone and intonation: introductory notes and practical recommendations


The present article aims to propose a simple introduction to the topics of (i) lexical tone, (ii) intonation, and (iii) tone-intonation interactions, with practical recommendations for students. It builds on the authors' observations on various languages, tonal and non-tonal; much of the evidence reviewed concerns tonal languages of Asia. With a view to providing beginners with an adequate methodological apparatus for studying tone and intonation, the present notes emphasize two salient dimensions of linguistic diversity. The first is the nature of the lexical tones: we review the classical distinction between (i) contour tones that can be analyzed into sequences of level tones, and (ii) contour tones that are non-decomposable (phonetically complex). A second dimension of diversity is the presence or absence of intonational tones: tones of intonational origin that are formally identical with lexical (and morphological) tones.
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Dates and versions

halshs-01091477 , version 1 (05-12-2014)
halshs-01091477 , version 2 (19-01-2015)
halshs-01091477 , version 3 (05-02-2015)


  • HAL Id : halshs-01091477 , version 1


Alexis Michaud, Jacqueline Vaissière. Tone and intonation: introductory notes and practical recommendations. 2014. ⟨halshs-01091477v1⟩
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