Sample Tonal Languages Essay

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approx: 2949 words

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Tonal language is a type of language which makes use of a pitch which is considered to be part of the language/speech. The pitch is something which can change the meaning a word has. There are many words in the English language which are pronounced in the same way but have different meanings. An example of this would be ‘present’. The way in which each is pronounced will have an impact on the meaning implied. This word has two different meanings as one is a noun and the other is a verb. Tonal languages can be found in most parts of Asia, South America and even in Africa. The most famous and popular of all tonal languages are Chinese. Chinese is a language which is quite hard to learn due to the complexity of the grammar and the way in which the sentences are structured.

Tonal Languages Essay

The words in the Chinese language have many different meanings as well so one must be careful in choosing the words he/she speaks and making sure that the words are pronounced in the appropriate way as to stick to the proper meaning.

The meaning of a word tends to change depending on which alphabet a person stresses upon. Depending on how high or low the pitch is will determine the meaning of the word. When tonal languages are written, they are written with certain markings on them and certain signs are used to help the reader understand what is meant.

This tactic is extremely helpful as it eliminates much of the confusion tonal languages create. The only problem with tonal languages is that once they are transliterated into English, these markings are removed and hence the words in English do not tell a person how to pronounce Chinese words. This can definitely create a lot of problems and much confusion. There are many other…

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