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A pitch-accent language is a language that has word accents in which one syllable in a word or morpheme is more prominent than the others, but the accentuated syllable is indicated by a contrasting
pitch Pitch may refer to: Acoustic frequency * Pitch (music), the perceived frequency of sound including "definite pitch" and "indefinite pitch" ** Absolute pitch or "perfect pitch" ** Pitch class, a set of all pitches that are a whole number of octaves ...
(linguistic
tone Tone may refer to: Color-related * Tone, mix of tint and shade, in painting and color theory * Tone, the lightness Lightness is a visual perception of the luminance (L) of an object. It is often judged relative to a similarly lit object. ...
) rather than by loudness, as in a stress-accent language. Pitch-accent also contrasts with fully-
tonal languages Tone is the use of pitch Pitch may refer to: Acoustic frequency * Pitch (music), the perceived frequency of sound including "definite pitch" and "indefinite pitch" ** Absolute pitch or "perfect pitch" ** Pitch class, a set of all pitches tha ...

tonal languages
like
Vietnamese Vietnamese may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to Vietnam, a country in Southeast Asia ** A citizen of Vietnam. See Demographics of Vietnam. * Vietnamese people, or Kinh people, a Southeast Asian ethnic group native to Vietnam ** Oversea ...

Vietnamese
and
Standard Chinese Standard Chinese (), in linguistics known as Standard Northern Mandarin, Standard Beijing Mandarin or simply Mandarin, is a dialect of Mandarin that emerged as the lingua franca A lingua franca (; ; for plurals see ), also known as a bri ...
(if in
pinyin ''Hanyu Pinyin'' (), often abbreviated to pinyin, is the official romanization Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language, meaning that it is a comprehensive, systematic, objecti ...

pinyin
form) in which each syllable can have an independent tone. Languages that have been described as pitch-accent languages include most dialects of
Hebrew Hebrew (, , or ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic languages, Afroasiatic language family. Historically, it is regarded as one of the spoken languages of the Israelites and their longest-survivi ...
,
Serbo-Croatian Serbo-Croatian () – also called Serbo-Croat (), Serbo-Croat-Bosnian (SCB), Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian (BCS), and Bosnian-Croatian-Montenegrin-Serbian (BCMS) – is a South Slavic language The South Slavic languages are one of three branche ...
,
Slovene Slovene or Slovenian may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to Slovenia, a country in Central Europe * Slovene language, a South Slavic language mainly spoken in Slovenia * Slovenes, an ethno-linguistic group mainly living in Slovenia * Sla ...
,
Baltic languages The Baltic languages belong to the Balto-Slavic The Balto-Slavic languages are a branch of the Indo-European family of languages. It traditionally comprises the Baltic languages, Baltic and Slavic languages. Baltic and Slavic languages sha ...

Baltic languages
,
Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), generally referred to by speakers simply as Greek (, ), refers collectively to the diale ...
,
Vedic Sanskrit Vedic Sanskrit was an ancient language of the Indo-AryanIndo-Aryan refers to: * Indo-Aryan languages ** Indo-Aryan superstrate in Mitanni or Mitanni-Aryan * Indo-Aryan peoples, the various peoples speaking these languages See also *Aryan invasi ...
,
Tlingit The Tlingit ( or ; also spelled Tlinkit; russian: Тлинкиты) are indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast of North America. Their language is the Tlingit language (natively , pronounced ),Turkish Turkish may refer to: * of or about Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country straddling Southeastern Europe and Western Asia. It shares borders with Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), offi ...

Turkish
,
Japanese Japanese may refer to: * Something from or related to Japan Japan ( ja, 日本, or , and formally ) is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or ...

Japanese
,
Norwegian Norwegian, Norwayan, or Norsk may refer to: *Something of, from, or related to Norway, a country in northwestern Europe *Norwegians, both a nation and an ethnic group native to Norway *Demographics of Norway *The Norwegian language, including the t ...
,
Swedish Swedish or ' may refer to: * Anything from or related to Sweden, a country in Northern Europe * Swedish language, a North Germanic language spoken primarily in Sweden and Finland * Swedish alphabet, the official alphabet used by the Swedish langua ...
, Western
Basque Basque may refer to: * Basques The Basques ( or ; eu, euskaldunak ; es, vascos ; french: basques ) are a Southern European ethnic group, characterised by the Basque language, a Basque culture, common culture and shared genetic ancestry to th ...
,Hualde, J.I. (1986)
"Tone and Stress in Basque: A Preliminary Survey"
(PDF). ''Anuario del Seminario Julio de Urquijo'' XX-3, 1986, pp. 867-896.
Yaqui The Yaqui, Hiaki, or Yoeme, are a Uto-Aztecan Uto-Aztecan, Uto-Aztekan or (rarely) Uto-Nahuatl is a Language family, family of indigenous languages of the Americas, consisting of over thirty languages. Uto-Aztecan languages are found almost e ...
, certain dialects of
Korean Korean may refer to: People and culture * Koreans, ethnic group originating in the Korean Peninsula * Korean cuisine * Korean culture * Korean language **Korean alphabet, known as Hangul or Chosŏn'gŭl **Korean dialects and the Jeju language **S ...
,
Shanghainese Shanghainese, also known as the Shanghai language, Shanghai dialect, or Hu language, is a Wu Chinese Wu (Chinese character: , , Mandarin: ) is a group of linguistically similar and historically related Sinitic languages spoken primarily i ...
, and Livonian. Pitch-accent languages tend to fall into two categories: those with a single pitch-contour (for example, high, or highlow) on the accented syllable, such as Tokyo
Japanese Japanese may refer to: * Something from or related to Japan Japan ( ja, 日本, or , and formally ) is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or ...

Japanese
, Western
Basque Basque may refer to: * Basques The Basques ( or ; eu, euskaldunak ; es, vascos ; french: basques ) are a Southern European ethnic group, characterised by the Basque language, a Basque culture, common culture and shared genetic ancestry to th ...
, or
Persian Persian may refer to: * People and things from Iran, historically called ''Persia'' in the English language ** Persians, Persian people, the majority ethnic group in Iran, not to be conflated with the Iranian peoples ** Persian language, an Iranian ...
; and those in which more than one pitch-contour can occur on the accented syllable, such as
Punjabi Panjābī (pʌnˈdʒɑːbi) (ਪੰਜਾਬੀ) (پنجابی) Punjabi or Panjabi most often refers to: * Something of, from, or related to Punjab Punjab ( Gurmukhi: ; Shahmukhi: ; , ; , ; ; also romanised as Panjāb or Panj-Āb) is a ge ...
,
Swedish Swedish or ' may refer to: * Anything from or related to Sweden, a country in Northern Europe * Swedish language, a North Germanic language spoken primarily in Sweden and Finland * Swedish alphabet, the official alphabet used by the Swedish langua ...
, or
Serbo-Croatian Serbo-Croatian () – also called Serbo-Croat (), Serbo-Croat-Bosnian (SCB), Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian (BCS), and Bosnian-Croatian-Montenegrin-Serbian (BCMS) – is a South Slavic language The South Slavic languages are one of three branche ...
. In this latter kind, the accented syllable is also often stressed. Some of the languages considered pitch-accent languages, in addition to accented words, also have accentless words (e.g.,
Japanese Japanese may refer to: * Something from or related to Japan Japan ( ja, 日本, or , and formally ) is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or ...

Japanese
and Western
Basque Basque may refer to: * Basques The Basques ( or ; eu, euskaldunak ; es, vascos ; french: basques ) are a Southern European ethnic group, characterised by the Basque language, a Basque culture, common culture and shared genetic ancestry to th ...
); in others all major words are accented (e.g.,
Blackfoot The Blackfoot Confederacy, ''Niitsitapi'' or ''Siksikaitsitapi'' (ᖹᐟᒧᐧᒣᑯ, meaning "the people" or " Blackfoot-speaking real people"), is a historic collective name for linguistically related groups that make up the Blackfoot or Black ...
and Barasana).Levi, Susannah V. (2005)
"Acoustic correlates of lexical accent in Turkish"
''Journal of the International Phonetic Association'', vol. 35.1, pp. 73-97. DOI

Some have claimed that the term "pitch accent" is not coherently defined and that pitch-accent languages are just a sub-category of tonal languages in general. The term "pitch accent" is also used to denote a different feature, namely the use of pitch to give prominence (phonetics), prominence (accent) to a
syllable A syllable is a unit of organization for a sequence of speech sounds. It is typically made up of a syllable nucleus (most often a vowel A vowel is a Syllable, syllabic speech sound pronounced without any stricture in the vocal tract. Vowels a ...

syllable
or
mora Mora may refer to: Places * Doctor Mora, city in the Mexican state of Guanajuato * Mora (Cordillera), Bolivia * Mora, Cameroon, a town * Mora (canton), Costa Rica * Mora, Cyprus, a village * Mora, Maharashtra, India, a port near Mumbai * Mora, Port ...
within a phrase.


Characteristics of pitch-accent languages


Definitions

Scholars give various definitions of a pitch-accent language. A typical definition is as follows: "Pitch-accent systems
re
re
systems in which one syllable is more prominent than the other syllables in the same word, a prominence that is achieved by means of pitch" (Zanten and Dol (2010)). That is to say, in a pitch-accent language, in order to indicate how a word is pronounced it is necessary, as with a stress-accent language, to mark only one syllable in a word as accented, not specify the tone of every syllable. This feature of having only one prominent syllable in a word or morpheme is known as ''culminativity''.Downing, Laura (2010). "Accent in African languages". In Harry van der Hulst, Rob Goedemans, Ellen van Zanten (eds.) ''A Survey of Word Accentual Patterns in the Languages of the World'', p. 411. Another property suggested for pitch-accent languages to distinguish them from stress languages is that "Pitch accent languages must satisfy the criterion of having ''invariant tonal contours'' on accented syllables ... This is not so for pure stress languages, where the tonal contours of stressed syllables can vary freely" (Hayes (1995)). Although this is true of many pitch-accent languages, there are others, such as the Franconian dialects, in which the contours vary, for example between declarative and interrogative sentences. According to another proposal, pitch-accent languages ''can only use F0'' (i.e., pitch) to mark the accented syllable, whereas stress languages may also use duration and intensity (Beckman). However, other scholars disagree, and find that intensity and duration can also play a part in the accent of pitch-accent languages. A feature considered characteristic of stress-accent languages is that a stress-accent is ''obligatory'', that is, that every major word has to have an accent. This is not always true of pitch-accent languages, some of which, like Japanese and Northern Bizkaian Basque, have accentless words. But there are also some pitch-accent languages in which every word has an accent. One feature shared between pitch-accent languages and stress-accent languages is ''demarcativeness'': prominence peaks tend to occur at or near morpheme edges (word/stem initial, word/stem penult, word/stem final). Often, however, the difference between a pitch-accent language, a stress-accent language, and tonal language is not clear. "It is, in fact, often not straightforward to decide whether a particular pitch system is best described as tonal or accentual. ... Since raised pitch, especially when it coincides with vowel length, makes a syllable perceptually more prominent, it can often require detailed phonetic and phonological analysis to disentangle whether pitch is playing a more stress-like or a more tone-like role in a particular language" (Downing). Larry Hyman argues that tone is made up of a variety of different typological features, which can be mixed and matched with some independence from each other. Hyman claims that there can be no coherent definition of pitch-accent, as the term describes languages that have non-prototypical combinations of tone system properties (or both a tone system, usually still non-prototypical, and a stress system simultaneously). Since all pitch-accent languages can be analysed just as well in purely tonal terms, in Hyman's view, the term "pitch-accent" should be superseded by a wider understanding of what qualifies as a tone system - thus, all "pitch-accent" languages are tone languages, and there is simply more variety within tone systems than has historically been admitted.


Characteristics of the accent


High vs. low accent

When one particular tone is marked in a language in contrast to unmarked syllables, it is usual for it to be a high tone. There are, however, a few languages in which the marked tone is a low tone, for example the
Dogrib language The Tlicho language, also known as Tłı̨chǫ Yatıì or the Dogrib language, is a Northern Athabaskan language spoken by the Tłı̨chǫ (Dogrib people) First Nations of the Canadian Northwest Territories. According to Statistics Canada in 20 ...
of northwestern Canada and certain Bantu languages of the Congo such as Ciluba and Ruund.


Disyllabic accents

One difference between a pitch accent and a stress accent is that it is not uncommon for a pitch accent to be realised over two syllables. Thus in
Serbo-Croatian Serbo-Croatian () – also called Serbo-Croat (), Serbo-Croat-Bosnian (SCB), Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian (BCS), and Bosnian-Croatian-Montenegrin-Serbian (BCMS) – is a South Slavic language The South Slavic languages are one of three branche ...
, the difference between a "rising" and a "falling" accent is observed only in the pitch of the syllable following the accent: the accent is said to be "rising" if the following syllable is as high as or higher than the accented syllable, but "falling" if it is lower (see Serbo-Croatian phonology#Pitch accent). In
Vedic Sanskrit Vedic Sanskrit was an ancient language of the Indo-AryanIndo-Aryan refers to: * Indo-Aryan languages ** Indo-Aryan superstrate in Mitanni or Mitanni-Aryan * Indo-Aryan peoples, the various peoples speaking these languages See also *Aryan invasi ...
, the ancient Indian grammarians described the accent as being a high pitch (''udātta'') followed by a falling tone (''svarita'') on the following syllable; but occasionally, when two syllables had merged, the high tone and the falling tone were combined on one syllable. In
Swedish Swedish or ' may refer to: * Anything from or related to Sweden, a country in Northern Europe * Swedish language, a North Germanic language spoken primarily in Sweden and Finland * Swedish alphabet, the official alphabet used by the Swedish langua ...
, the difference between accent 1 and accent 2 can only be heard in words of two or more syllables, since the tones take two syllables to be realised. In the central Swedish dialect of
Stockholm Stockholm (; ) is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals (or more formally ''majuscule'') and smalle ...

Stockholm
, accent 1 is an LHL contour and accent 2 is an HLHL contour, with the second peak in the second syllable. In
Welsh Welsh may refer to: Related to Wales * Welsh, referring or related to Wales * Welsh language, a Brittonic Celtic language of the Indo-European language family, indigenous to the British Isles, spoken in Wales ** Patagonian Welsh, a dialect of Wels ...
, in most words the accent is realised as a low tone on the penultimate syllable (which is also stressed) followed by a high tone on the final; but in some dialects this LH contour may take place entirely within the penultimate syllable.Cooper, S.E. (2015). Bangor University PhD thesi
"Intonation in Anglesey Welsh"
p. 165.
Similarly in the
Chichewa Chewa (also known as Nyanja, ) is a Bantu language The Bantu languages (English: , Proto-Bantu: *bantʊ̀) are a large family of languages spoken by the Bantu peoples throughout sub-Saharan Africa Sub-Saharan Africa is, geographically ...
language of Malawi a tone on a final syllable often spreads backwards to the penultimate syllable, so that the word is actually pronounced ''Chichēwā'' with two mid-tones, or ''Chichěwā'', with a rising tone on the penultimate syllable.Downing, L.M. & Mtenje, A.D. (2017), ''The Phonology of Chichewa'', p. 119. Sentence-finally it can become ''Chichěwà'' with a rising tone on the penultimate and a low tone on the final.


Peak delay

A phenomenon observed in a number of languages, both fully tonal ones and those with pitch-accent systems, is peak delay. In this, the high point (peak) of a high tone does not synchronise exactly with the syllable itself, but is reached at the beginning of the following syllable, giving the impression that the high tone has spread over two syllables. The Vedic Sanskrit accent described above has been interpreted as an example of peak delay.


One-mora accents

Conversely, a pitch accent in some languages can target just part of a syllable, if the syllable is bi-moraic. Thus in
Luganda The Ganda language or Luganda (, , ) is a Bantu language spoken in the African Great Lakes region. It is one of the major languages in Uganda and is spoken by more than 10 million Ganda people, Baganda and other people principally in central Uga ...
, in the word "Baganda people" the accent is considered to occur on the first mora of the syllable ''ga(n)'', but in "Buganda (region)" it occurs on the second half (with spreading back to the first half). In Ancient Greek, similarly, in the word () "houses" the accent is on the first half of the syllable ''oi'', but in () "at home" on the second half.Smyth, H.W. (1920) ''Greek Grammar'', §169. An alternative analysis is to see Luganda and Ancient Greek as belonging to the type of languages where there is a choice of different contours on an accented syllable.


High tone spread


Anticipation

In some pitch-accent languages, the high pitch of the accent can be anticipated in the preceding syllable or syllables, for example,
Japanese Japanese may refer to: * Something from or related to Japan Japan ( ja, 日本, or , and formally ) is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or ...

Japanese
"head",
Basque Basque may refer to: * Basques The Basques ( or ; eu, euskaldunak ; es, vascos ; french: basques ) are a Southern European ethnic group, characterised by the Basque language, a Basque culture, common culture and shared genetic ancestry to th ...
"the friend's grandmother",
Turkish Turkish may refer to: * of or about Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country straddling Southeastern Europe and Western Asia. It shares borders with Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), offi ...

Turkish
"you would not get angry", Belgrade
Serbian Serbian may refer to: * someone or something related to Serbia, a country in Southeastern Europe * someone or something related to the Serbs, a South Slavic people * in both meanings, depending on the context, it may refer to: ** Serbian language ...
"pepper", Ancient Greek "it demands".


Forwards spreading

Forwards spreading of a tone is also common in some languages. For example, in the
Northern Ndebele language Northern Ndebele (), also called Ndebele, isiNdebele, Zimbabwean Ndebele or North Ndebele, and formerly known as Matabele, is an African language belonging to the NguniNguni may refer to: *Nguni languages The Nguni languages are a group o ...
of Zimbabwe, the tonal accent on the prefix ''ú-'' spreads forward to all the syllables in the word except the last two: "to laugh"; "to make one another laugh". Sometimes the sequence HHHH then becomes LLLH, so that in the related language
Zulu Zulu may refer to: Zulu people * Zulu Kingdom or Zulu Empire, a former monarchy in what is now South Africa * Zulu language, a Bantu language spoken in southern Africa * Zulu people, an ethnic group of southern Africa Arts, entertainment, and med ...
, the equivalent of these words is and with an accent shifted to the antepenultimate syllable. In the Mexican language
Yaqui The Yaqui, Hiaki, or Yoeme, are a Uto-Aztecan Uto-Aztecan, Uto-Aztekan or (rarely) Uto-Nahuatl is a Language family, family of indigenous languages of the Americas, consisting of over thirty languages. Uto-Aztecan languages are found almost e ...
, the accent is signalled by an upstep before the accented syllable. The high pitch continues after the accent, declining slightly, until the next accented syllable. Thus it is the opposite of Japanese, where the accent is preceded by high pitch, and its position is signalled by a downstep after the accented syllable.


Plateau between accents

In other languages the high pitch of an accent, instead of dropping to a low on the following syllable, in some circumstances can continue in a plateau to the next accented syllable, as in
Luganda The Ganda language or Luganda (, , ) is a Bantu language spoken in the African Great Lakes region. It is one of the major languages in Uganda and is spoken by more than 10 million Ganda people, Baganda and other people principally in central Uga ...
"it is in Buganda" (contrast "it is in Bunyoro", in which ''Bunyóró'' is unaccented apart from automatic default tones). Plateauing is also found in
Chichewa Chewa (also known as Nyanja, ) is a Bantu language The Bantu languages (English: , Proto-Bantu: *bantʊ̀) are a large family of languages spoken by the Bantu peoples throughout sub-Saharan Africa Sub-Saharan Africa is, geographically ...
, where in some circumstances a sequence of HLH can change to HHH. For example, + "with a bicycle" makes with a plateau. In Western
Basque Basque may refer to: * Basques The Basques ( or ; eu, euskaldunak ; es, vascos ; french: basques ) are a Southern European ethnic group, characterised by the Basque language, a Basque culture, common culture and shared genetic ancestry to th ...
and Luganda, the default high tones automatically added to accentless words can spread in a continuous plateau through the phrase as far as the first accent, for example, in Basque "John's friend's grandmother", Luganda "people in the city".


Simple pitch-accent languages

According to the first two criteria above, the Tokyo dialect of is often considered a typical pitch-accent language, since the pronunciation of any word can be specified by marking just one syllable as accented, and in every word the accent is realised by a fall in pitch immediately after the accented syllable. In the examples below the accented syllable is marked in bold (the particle ''ga'' indicates that the word is subject):Hyman, Larry M. (2009)
"How (not) to do phonological typology: the case of pitch-accent"
''Language Sciences'' 31, 213–238.
* "pillow" * "you" * "head" * "fish" (unaccented) In Japanese there are also other high-toned syllables, which are added to the word automatically, but these do not count as accents, since they are not followed by a low syllable. As can be seen, some of the words in Japanese have no accent. In
Proto-Indo-European Proto-Indo-European (PIE) is the theorized common ancestor of the Indo-European language family The Indo-European languages are a language family A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech ( ...
and its descendant,
Vedic Sanskrit Vedic Sanskrit was an ancient language of the Indo-AryanIndo-Aryan refers to: * Indo-Aryan languages ** Indo-Aryan superstrate in Mitanni or Mitanni-Aryan * Indo-Aryan peoples, the various peoples speaking these languages See also *Aryan invasi ...
, the system is comparable to Tokyo Japanese and
Cupeño The Cupeño are a Native American Native Americans may refer to: Ethnic groups * Indigenous peoples of the Americas, the pre-Columbian peoples of North and South America and their descendants * Native Americans in the United States * Indigenous ...

Cupeño
in most respects, specifying pronunciation through inherently accented morphemes such as and (Vedic ''-rá-'' and ''-tá-'') and inherently unaccented morphemes. The examples below demonstrate the formation of such words using morphemes: * PIE > ' "shining" (Vedic ''r̥jrás'') * PIE > ' "heard (of), famous" (Vedic ''śrutás'') If there are multiple accented morphemes, the accent is determined by specific morphophonological principles. Below is a comparison of Vedic, Tokyo Japanese and Cupeño regarding accent placement: * Vedic /''gáv-ā́''/ > ''gáv-ā'' "with the cow" * Japanese /''yón-dára''/ > ''yón-dara'' "if (he) reads" * Cupeño /''ʔáyu-qá''/ > ''ʔáyu-qa'' "(he) wants" The Basque language has a system very similar to Japanese. In some Basque dialects, as in Tokyo Japanese, there are accented and unaccented words; in other dialects all major words have an accent. As with Japanese, the accent in Basque consists of a high pitch followed by a fall on the next syllable.
Turkish Turkish may refer to: * of or about Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country straddling Southeastern Europe and Western Asia. It shares borders with Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), offi ...

Turkish
is another language often considered a pitch-accent language (see Turkish phonology#Word accent). In some circumstances, for example in the second half of a compound, the accent can disappear.
Persian Persian may refer to: * People and things from Iran, historically called ''Persia'' in the English language ** Persians, Persian people, the majority ethnic group in Iran, not to be conflated with the Iranian peoples ** Persian language, an Iranian ...
has also been called a pitch-accent language in recent studies, although the high tone of the accent is also accompanied by stress; and as with Turkish, in some circumstances the accent can be neutralised and disappear. Because the accent is both stressed and high-pitched, Persian can be considered intermediate between a pitch-accent language and a stress-accent language.


More complex pitch accents

In some simple pitch-accent languages, such as Ancient Greek, the accent on a long vowel or diphthong could be on either half of the vowel, making a contrast possible between a rising accent and a falling one; compare () "at home" vs. () "houses". Similarly in
Luganda The Ganda language or Luganda (, , ) is a Bantu language spoken in the African Great Lakes region. It is one of the major languages in Uganda and is spoken by more than 10 million Ganda people, Baganda and other people principally in central Uga ...
, in bimoraic syllables a contrast is possible between a level and falling accent: "Buganda (region)", vs. "Baganda (people)". However, such contrasts are not common or systematic in these languages. In more complex types of pitch-accent languages, although there is still only one accent per word, there is a systematic contrast of more than one pitch-contour on the accented syllable, for example, H vs. HL in the Colombian language Barasana, accent 1 vs. accent 2 in
Swedish Swedish or ' may refer to: * Anything from or related to Sweden, a country in Northern Europe * Swedish language, a North Germanic language spoken primarily in Sweden and Finland * Swedish alphabet, the official alphabet used by the Swedish langua ...
and
Norwegian Norwegian, Norwayan, or Norsk may refer to: *Something of, from, or related to Norway, a country in northwestern Europe *Norwegians, both a nation and an ethnic group native to Norway *Demographics of Norway *The Norwegian language, including the t ...
, rising vs. falling tone in
Serbo-Croatian Serbo-Croatian () – also called Serbo-Croat (), Serbo-Croat-Bosnian (SCB), Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian (BCS), and Bosnian-Croatian-Montenegrin-Serbian (BCMS) – is a South Slavic language The South Slavic languages are one of three branche ...
, and a choice between level (neutral), rising, and falling in
Punjabi Panjābī (pʌnˈdʒɑːbi) (ਪੰਜਾਬੀ) (پنجابی) Punjabi or Panjabi most often refers to: * Something of, from, or related to Punjab Punjab ( Gurmukhi: ; Shahmukhi: ; , ; , ; ; also romanised as Panjāb or Panj-Āb) is a ge ...
. Other languages deviate from a simple pitch accent in more complicated ways. For example, in describing the
Osaka is a designated city in the Kansai region The or the , lies in the southern-central region of Japan , image_flag = Flag of Japan.svg , alt_flag = Centered deep red circle on a white rectangle , ...

Osaka
dialect of
Japanese Japanese may refer to: * Something from or related to Japan Japan ( ja, 日本, or , and formally ) is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or ...

Japanese
, it is necessary to specify not only which syllable of a word is accented, but also whether the initial syllable of the word is high or low. In
Luganda The Ganda language or Luganda (, , ) is a Bantu language spoken in the African Great Lakes region. It is one of the major languages in Uganda and is spoken by more than 10 million Ganda people, Baganda and other people principally in central Uga ...
the accented syllable is usually followed immediately after the HL of the accent by an automatic default tone, slightly lower than the tone of the accent, e.g., "we are going"; however, there are some words such as "they will see", where the automatic default tone does not follow the accent immediately but after an interval of two or three syllables. In such words it is therefore necessary to specify not only which syllable has the accent, but where the default tone begins. Because of the number of ways languages can use tone some linguists, such as the tonal languages specialist Larry Hyman, argue that the category "pitch-accent language" can have no coherent definition, and that all such languages should simply be referred to as "tonal languages".


Languages


Proto-Indo-European

The dead language
Proto-Indo-European Proto-Indo-European (PIE) is the theorized common ancestor of the Indo-European language family The Indo-European languages are a language family A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech ( ...
, the putative ancestor of most European, Iranian and North Indian languages, is usually reconstructed to have been a free pitch-accent system. ("Free" here refers to the position of the accent since its position was unpredictable by phonological rules and so could be on any syllable of a word, regardless of its structure.) From comparisons with the surviving
Indo-European The Indo-European languages are a language family A language family is a group of language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be in relation ...
daughter languages, it is generally believed that the accented syllable was higher in pitch than the surrounding syllables. Among daughter languages, a pitch-accent system is found in Vedic Sanskrit, Ancient Greek, the Baltic languages and some South Slavic languages, although none of them preserves the original system intact.


Vedic Sanskrit

Vedic Sanskrit Vedic Sanskrit was an ancient language of the Indo-AryanIndo-Aryan refers to: * Indo-Aryan languages ** Indo-Aryan superstrate in Mitanni or Mitanni-Aryan * Indo-Aryan peoples, the various peoples speaking these languages See also *Aryan invasi ...
, the earliest form of the Indian language
Sanskrit Sanskrit (; attributively , ; nominalization, nominally , , ) is a classical language of South Asia that belongs to the Indo-Aryan languages, Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European languages. It arose in South Asia after its predecessor langua ...

Sanskrit
, is believed to have had a pitch accent that was very similar to that of ancestor language Proto-Indo-European. Most words had exactly one accented syllable, but there were some unaccented words, such as finite verbs of main clauses, non-initial vocatives, and certain pronouns and particles. Occasionally, a compound word occurred with two accents: ''ápa-bhartávai'' "to take away".Beguš, Gašper (2016
"The Phonetics of the Independent Svarita in Vedic"
in Stephanie W. Jamison, H. Craig Melchert, and Brent Vine (eds.). 2016. ''Proceedings of the 26th Annual UCLA Indo-European Conference''. Bremen: Hempen. 1–12.
The ancient Indian grammarians describe the accented syllable as being "raised" (''udātta''), and it appears that it was followed in the following syllable by a downwards glide, which the grammarians refer to as "sounded" (''svarita''). In some cases, language change merged an accented syllable with a following svarita syllable, and the two were combined in a single syllable, known as "independent svarita". The precise descriptions of ancient Indian grammarians imply that the ''udātta'' was characterised by rising pitch and the ''svarita'' by falling pitch. In the tradition represented by the
Rigveda The ''Rigveda'' or ''Rig Veda'' ( ', from ' "praise" and ' "knowledge") is an ancient Indian collection Collection or Collections may refer to: * Cash collection, the function of an accounts receivable department * Collection agency, ag ...
, a collection of hymns, the highest point of the accent appears not to have been reached until the beginning of the ''svarita'' syllable. In other words, it was an example of "peak delay" (see above). In the later stages of Sanskrit, the pitch accent was lost and a stress accent remained. The stress in Sanskrit, however, was weaker than that in English and not free but predictable. The stress was heard on the penultimate syllable of the word if it was heavy, on the antepenultimate if the antepenultimate was heavy and the penultimate light, and otherwise on the pre-antepenultimate.


Ancient Greek

In
Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), generally referred to by speakers simply as Greek (, ), refers collectively to the diale ...
, one of the final three syllables of a word carried an accent. Each syllable contained one or two
morae A mora (plural ''morae'' or ''moras''; often symbolized μ) is a unit in phonology that describes syllable weight, which in some languages determines stress (linguistics), stress or timing (linguistics), timing. A mora is a sound which comes after ...
, but only one can be accented, and accented morae were pronounced at a higher pitch. In
polytonic orthography Greek orthographyThe orthography of the Greek language ultimately has its roots in the adoption of the Greek alphabet in the 9th century BC. Some time prior to that, one early form of Greek, Mycenaean language, Mycenaean, was written in Linear ...
, accented vowels were marked with the
acute accent The acute accent, , is a diacritic A diacritic (also diacritical mark, diacritical point, diacritical sign, or accent) is a glyph The term glyph is used in typography File:metal movable type.jpg, 225px, Movable type being assembl ...

acute accent
. Long vowels and
diphthong A diphthong ( ; , ), also known as a gliding vowel, is a combination of two adjacent vowel A vowel is a Syllable, syllabic speech sound pronounced without any stricture in the vocal tract. Vowels are one of the two principal classes of spe ...
s are thought to have been bimoraic and, if the accent falls on the first mora, were marked with the
circumflex The circumflex is a diacritic in the Latin script, Latin and Greek alphabet, Greek scripts that is used in the written forms of many languages and in various romanization and Transcription (linguistics), transcription schemes. It received its E ...
. Long vowels and diphthongs that were accented on the first mora had a high–low (falling)
pitch contour __NOTOC__ In linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studying and modeling them. The traditional areas of linguistic analysi ...
and, if accented on the second mora, may have had a low–high (rising) pitch contour: The Ancient Greek accent was melodic, as is suggested by descriptions by ancient grammarians but also by fragments of Greek music such as the
Seikilos epitaphSeikilos epitaph is the oldest surviving complete musical composition, including musical notation, from anywhere in the world. The epitaph has been variously dated, but seems to be either from the 1st or the 2nd century CE. The song, the melody of wh ...
, in which most of words are set to music that coincides with the accent. For example, the first syllable of the word () is set to three notes rising in pitch, the middle syllable of () is higher in pitch than the other two syllables, and the circumflex accent of () has two notes, the first a third higher than the second. In addition to the two accents mentioned above (the acute and the circumflex), Ancient Greek also had a grave accent. It was used only on the last syllable of words, as an alternative to an acute. The acute was used when the word was cited in isolation or came before a pause, such as a comma or a full stop, or an
enclitic In morphology and syntax In linguistics, syntax () is the set of rules, principles, and processes that govern the structure of Sentence (linguistics), sentences (sentence structure) in a given Natural language, language, usually including word ...
. Otherwise, a grave was written. The exact interpretation of the grave is disputed: it may have indicated that the accent was completely suppressed or that it was partly suppressed but not entirely absent. By comparing the position of the Ancient Greek and Vedic Sanskrit accents, the accent of the ancestor language Proto-Indo-European can often be reconstructed. For example, in the declension of the word for "father" in these two languages, the position of the accent in some cases is identical: In later stages of Greek, the accent changed from a pitch accent to a stress accent, but remained largely on the same syllable as in Ancient Greek. The change is thought to have taken place by the 4th century AD. Thus, the word () ("man, person"), which is believed to have been pronounced in ancient times with the first syllable always higher than the other two, is now pronounced with the first syllable either higher or lower than the other two.


Baltic languages

Two languages of the
Baltic Baltic may refer to: Geography Northern Europe * Baltic Sea, a sea in Europe * Baltic region, an ambiguous term referring to the general area surrounding the Baltic Sea * Baltic states (also Baltics, Baltic nations, Baltic countries or Baltic rep ...

Baltic
branch of the
Indo-European The Indo-European languages are a language family A language family is a group of language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be in relation ...
family survive today:
Lithuanian Lithuanian may refer to: * Lithuanians Lithuanians ( lt, lietuviai, singular ''lietuvis/lietuvė'') are a Balts, Baltic ethnic group. They are native to Lithuania, where they number around 2,561,300 people. Another million or more make up the Lith ...
and Latvian. (Another Baltic language,
Old Prussian Distribution of the Baltic tribes, circa 1200 CE (boundaries are approximate). Old Prussian was a Western Baltic language belonging to the Balto-Slavic branch of the Indo-European languages The Indo-European languages are a language f ...
, died out in the 18th century.) Both languages have a tonal accent that is believed to derive from the ancestral
Proto-Indo-European language Proto-Indo-European (PIE) is the theorized common ancestor of the Indo-European language family The Indo-European languages are a language family A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech ( ...
.
Possible relationships
between Baltic tones Baltic F R / \/ \ / /\ \ / / \ \ / / F \ / / , \ \ / / , \ \ F R L B F Lith. Latvian F – falling (acute) R – rising (circumflex) L – level B – broken
Baltic tones are often classified as either "acute" or "circumflex." However, these labels indicate a
diachronic Synchrony and diachrony are two complementary viewpoints in linguistic Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studying and modeling them. ...
correspondence rather than a phonetic one. For example, the "acute" accent is falling in
Lithuanian Lithuanian may refer to: * Lithuanians Lithuanians ( lt, lietuviai, singular ''lietuvis/lietuvė'') are a Balts, Baltic ethnic group. They are native to Lithuania, where they number around 2,561,300 people. Another million or more make up the Lith ...
but a high level tone in Latvian and is presumed to have been rising in
Old Prussian Distribution of the Baltic tribes, circa 1200 CE (boundaries are approximate). Old Prussian was a Western Baltic language belonging to the Balto-Slavic branch of the Indo-European languages The Indo-European languages are a language f ...
and
Classical Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek (modern , romanized: ''Elliniká'', Ancient Greek, ancient , ''Hellēnikḗ'') is an independent branch of the Indo-European languages, Indo-European family of languages, nati ...
. The "circumflex" is rising in Lithuanian but falling in Latvian, Prussian and Classical Greek. In the tree diagram on the right, as adopted from Poljakov, names for (original) Baltic tones have been equated with those of modern Standard Lithuanian and the falling tone in Latvian is depicted as derived from a Baltic rising tone. According to some it was Lithuanian that "switched the places" of the Baltic tones. This might explain why most languages call a rising tone "acute" while in Baltic terminology a falling tone is "acute." Some controversy surrounds Poljakov's model, and it has been harshly criticized by
Frederik Kortlandt Frederik Herman Henri (Frits) Kortlandt (born 19 June 1946) is a Dutch former professor of descriptive and comparative linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of langua ...

Frederik Kortlandt
. Kortlandt contends that broken tone in Latvian and Žemaitian is a reflex of a now disappeared in Balto-Slavic not preserved in Aukštaitian (Standard Lithuanian) or Slavic languages and not a recent development of acute.Frederik Kortlandt
"The rise and fall of glottalization in Baltic and Slavic"
/ref>


Lithuanian

Long segments in Lithuanian can take one of two accents: rising or falling. "Long segments" are defined as either
long vowel In linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studying and modeling them. The traditional areas of linguistic analysis include ...
s,
diphthong A diphthong ( ; , ), also known as a gliding vowel, is a combination of two adjacent vowel A vowel is a Syllable, syllabic speech sound pronounced without any stricture in the vocal tract. Vowels are one of the two principal classes of spe ...
s or a sequence of a vowel followed by a
sonorant In phonetics Phonetics is a branch of linguistics that studies how humans produce and perceive sounds, or in the case of sign languages, the equivalent aspects of sign. Phoneticians—linguists who specialize in phonetics—study the physical pro ...
if they are in a stressed position. Pitch can serve as the only distinguishing characteristic for
minimal pair In phonology, minimal pairs are pairs of words or phrases in a particular language, spoken or Sign language, signed, that differ in only one phonological element, such as a phoneme, toneme or chroneme, and have distinct meanings. They are used to ...
s that are otherwise orthographically identical, e.g., ''kar̃tų'' 'time:gen.pl' vs. ''kártų'' 'hang:irr.3' (rising and falling tone indicated by a tilde and an acute accent respectively.)


Latvian

In Latvian, long segments (the same criteria as in Lithuanian) can take on one of three pitches (''intonācijas'' or more specifically ''zilbes intonācijas'') either ''stiepta'' ("level"), ''lauzta'' ("broken") or ''krītoša'' ("falling") indicated by Latvian linguists with a
tilde The tilde (
in the American Heritage dictionary
), or , is a

tilde
,
circumflex The circumflex is a diacritic in the Latin script, Latin and Greek alphabet, Greek scripts that is used in the written forms of many languages and in various romanization and Transcription (linguistics), transcription schemes. It received its E ...
or a
grave accent The grave accent ( ` ) ( or ) is a diacritical A diacritic (also diacritical mark, diacritical point, diacritical sign, or accent) is a glyph added to a letter (alphabet), letter or to a basic glyph. The term derives from th ...

grave accent
respectively (in
IPA IPA commonly refers to: * India pale ale, a style of beer * International Phonetic Alphabet The International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) is an alphabetic system of phonetic notation based primarily on the Latin script Latin script, also ...
, however, the tilde is replaced by a macron because the former is already reserved to denote
nasalized vowel A nasal vowel is a vowel A vowel is a Syllable, syllabic speech sound pronounced without any stricture in the vocal tract. Vowels are one of the two principal classes of speech sounds, the other being the consonant. Vowels vary in quality, in ...
s.) Some authors note that the level pitch is realized simply as "ultra long" (or overlong.) Endzelīns (1897) identifies "level diphthongs" as consisting of 3 moras not just two. Broken pitch is, in turn, a falling pitch with superadded glottalization. And, indeed, the similarity between the Latvian broken pitch and Danish stød has been described by several authors. At least in Danish phonology, stød (unlike Norwegian and Swedish pitch accents) is not considered a pitch accent distinction but, rather, variously described as either
glottalization Glottalization is the complete or partial closure of the glottis during the articulation of another sound. Glottalization of vowels and other sonorants is most often realized as creaky voice (partial closure). Glottalization of obstruent consonan ...
, laryngealization,
creaky voice In linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studying and modeling them. The traditional areas of linguistic analysis include ph ...
or
vocal fry The human voice consists of sound In physics, sound is a vibration that propagates as an acoustic wave, through a transmission medium such as a gas, liquid or solid. In human physiology and psychology, sound is the ''reception'' of such wa ...
. Some authors point out that the so-called broken pitch is not a pitch accent but a '' pitch register'' distinction similar to the . Outside of Central
Vidzeme Vidzeme (; lt, Vidžemė; liv, Vidūmō, russian: Видземе, pl, Liwonia)Līvõkīel-ēstikīel-lețkīel sõnārōntõzVidzeme/ref> is one of the cultural regions of Latvia, historical and cultural regions of Latvia. The capital of Latvia, ...

Vidzeme
(Standard Latvian), the three-way system has been simplified, in Eastern Latvian (
Latgale Latgale ( ltg, Latgola; russian: Латгалия; la, Lettgallia) is one of the Historical Latvian Lands. It is the easternmost region and is north of the Daugava River. While most of Latvia is historically Lutheranism, Lutheran, Latgale is predo ...
) only broken and falling pitches are distinguished. Speakers of
Rīga Riga (; lv, Rīga , liv, Rīgõ, ) is the capital of Latvia and is home to 614,618 inhabitants (2021), which is a third of Latvia's population. Being significantly larger than List of cities and towns in Latvia#Cities, other cities of Latvi ...
Latvian and other more westward varieties differentiate only between level and broken pitches with the falling pitch being merged with the broken one. Thus the Standard Latvian "minimal triplet" or "minimal set" of (hall), (grass) and (medicine) in Rīga Latvian would be reduced to "hall" (level pitch) and "grass" (broken pitch) and "medicine" would be pronounced with a broken pitch just like "grass." Speakers around Ērgļi tend to have just levelled pitch.


Livonian

The extinct
Livonian language The Livonian language ( liv, līvõ kēļ, link=no or ) is a Finnic language. Although its last native speaker died in 2013, there are about 40 reported speakers and 210 having reported some knowledge of the language. The native land of the Livon ...
is a language rather than Baltic but was influenced by Latvian. In the late 19th century, Danish linguist
Vilhelm Thomsen Vilhelm Ludwig Peter Thomsen (25 January 1842 – 12 May 1927) was a Danish linguist Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language) ...
identified a characteristic in the speech of a Livonian sailor that to him seemed very similar to the Danish '' stød''. The feature was later the subject of research by several Finno-Ugricists. Although the (
Indo-European The Indo-European languages are a language family A language family is a group of language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be in relation ...
) Latvian and (
Uralic The Uralic languages (; sometimes called Uralian languages ) form a language family of 38 languages spoken by approximately 25million people, predominantly in Northern Eurasia. The Uralic languages with the most native speakers are Hungarian lang ...

Uralic
) Livonian are
phylogenetic In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, Molecular biology, molecular interactions, Physiology, physiological mechanism ...

phylogenetic
ally unrelated (being from different language families) both have influenced each other heavily in terms of phonology. Whether Livonian acquired this feature from Latvian or vice versa is debated; however, owing to the fact that Livonian is the only Finno-Ugric language to have this feature, the majority of researchers believe it was a product of Latvian influence on Livonian and not the other way around. It is possible that "Livonian stød" would be classified as a pitch accent only by Latvian classification just like the identical Latvian ''lauztā intonācija'', otherwise it would be considered a pitch register, glottalization or similar categories as discussed above. The Livonian-Estonian-Latvian dictionary a
www.murre.ut.ee
uses an apostrophe after a vowel to indicate broken pitch, for example, ''Mi’nnõn u’m vajāg'' instead of just ''Minnõn um vajāg''.


Norwegian and Swedish

Norwegian Norwegian, Norwayan, or Norsk may refer to: *Something of, from, or related to Norway, a country in northwestern Europe *Norwegians, both a nation and an ethnic group native to Norway *Demographics of Norway *The Norwegian language, including the t ...
and
Swedish Swedish or ' may refer to: * Anything from or related to Sweden, a country in Northern Europe * Swedish language, a North Germanic language spoken primarily in Sweden and Finland * Swedish alphabet, the official alphabet used by the Swedish langua ...
are stress-accent languages, but in addition to the stress, two-syllable words in most dialects also have differences in tone. There are two kinds of tonal accent, referred to as the
acute Acute may refer to: Science and technology * Acute angle ** Acute triangle ** Acute, a leaf shape in the glossary of leaf morphology#acute, glossary of leaf morphology * Acute (medicine), a disease that it is of short duration and of recent onset. ...

acute
and
grave accent The grave accent ( ` ) ( or ) is a diacritical A diacritic (also diacritical mark, diacritical point, diacritical sign, or accent) is a glyph added to a letter (alphabet), letter or to a basic glyph. The term derives from th ...

grave accent
s, but they are also called ''accent 1'' and ''accent 2'' or ''tone 1'' and ''tone 2''. Over 150 two-syllable word pairs are differentiated only by their use of the accent. Accent 1 is used generally for words whose second syllable is the
definite article An article is any member of a class of dedicated words that are used with noun phrases A noun phrase, or nominal (phrase), is a that has a or as its or performs the same grammatical function as a noun. Noun phrases are very common , and the ...
and for words that were monosyllabic in
Old Norse Old Norse, Old Nordic, or Old Scandinavian is a stage of development of North Germanic dialects before their final divergence into separate Nordic languages. Old Norse was spoken by inhabitants of Scandinavia Scandinavia; : ''Skades ...
. For example, in many East Norwegian dialects, the word (farmers) is pronounced with tone 1, while (beans or prayers) uses tone 2. Differences in spelling occasionally let readers distinguish written words, but most minimal pairs are written alike. An example in Swedish is the word , which means "the duck" when using tone 1 and "the spirit" when using tone 2. In some dialects of Swedish, including those spoken in Finland, the distinction is absent. There are significant variations in the realization of pitch accent between dialects. Thus, in most of western and northern Norway (the so-called high-pitch dialects), accent 1 is falling, and accent 2 is rising in the first syllable and falling in the second syllable or somewhere around the syllable boundary. The word accents give Norwegian and Swedish a "singing" quality that makes them easy to distinguish from other languages. In
Danish Danish may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to the country of Denmark * A national or citizen of Denmark, also called a "Dane", see Demographics of Denmark * Danish people or Danes, people with a Danish ancestral or ethnic identity * Danis ...
(except for some southern dialects), the pitch accent of Swedish and Norwegian corresponds to the glottalization phenomenon known as stød.


A pitch accent is found in the following
Franconian languages Franconian or Frankish is a collective term traditionally used by linguists to refer to many West Germanic varieties, most of which are spoken in what formed the historical core area of the Frankish Empire Francia, also called the Kingdom o ...
or dialects:
Limburgish Limburgish ( li, Lèmburgs ; nl, Limburgs ; german: Limburgisch ; french: Limbourgeois ), also called Limburgan, Limburgian, or Limburgic, is a West Germanic language spoken in the Dutch and Belgian provinces of Limburg and in the neighbouri ...
, Ripuarian and
Moselle Franconian __NOTOC__ Moselle Franconian (German ''Moselfränkisch'') is a West Central German language, part of the Central Franconian language area, that includes Luxembourgish. It is spoken in the southern Rhineland The Rhineland (german: Rhein ...
(excluding
Luxembourgish Luxembourgish ( ; also ''Luxemburgish'', ''Luxembourgian'', ''Letzebu(e)rgesch''; Luxembourgish: ) is a West Germanic language that is spoken mainly in Luxembourg Luxembourg ( ; lb, Lëtzebuerg ; french: link=no, Luxembourg; german: ...
). They are sometimes collectively referred to as
West Central German West Central German (german: Westmitteldeutsch) belongs to the Central, High German The High German languages or High German dialects (german: hochdeutsche Mundarten) comprise the varieties of German spoken south of the Benrath and Uerdin ...
tonal languages. In these dialects there is a distinction between two different tonal contours, known as "tonal accent 1" and "tonal accent 2". As with Lithuanian, the distinction is made only in stressed syllables and, for the most part, only when the syllable contains a long vowel or diphthong or vowel that is followed in the same syllable by a sonorant (''r, l, m, n, ŋ''). No distinction of tones is made in stressed syllables containing a short vowel only.de Vaan, M
"Towards an Explanation of the Franconian Tone Accents
(Leiden University Repository), p. 2.
Although the accentual system resembles that of Swedish, the two are thought to have arisen independently.Köhnlein, Björn (2013)
"Optimizing the relation between tone and prominence: Evidence from Franconian, Scandinavian, and Serbo-Croatian tone accent systems"
''Lingua'' 131 (2013) 1-28
Unlike Swedish, where the distinction in tones is not made in monosyllables, in the Franconian dialects it very frequently occurs in monosyllables, e.g., ( Ripuarian dialect) ''zɛɪ''1 "sieve" vs. ''zɛɪ''2 "she". The tonal accents are referred to under a variety of names. Tonal accent 1 is called ' ("thrusting tone") in Dutch or ' in German, while tonal accent 2 is named ' ("slurring tone") in Dutch and ''Schleifton'' in German, apparently referring to the double peak it has in areas such as Limburg.The corresponding terms for Franconian tone accents are as follows: : The Dutch terms ''hoge toon'' and ''valtoon'' are misnomers for Colognian. The two accents have different realisations in different dialects. For example, in
Cologne Cologne ( ; german: Köln ; ksh, Kölle ) is the largest city of Germany, Germany's most populous States of Germany, state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) and the List of cities in Germany by population, fourth-most populous city and one of t ...
, accent 1 has a sharp fall near the beginning of the syllable, and accent 2 remains level for a while before falling. In Arzbach, near
Koblenz Koblenz (), spelled Coblenz before 1926, is a Germany, German city on the banks of the Rhine and of the Moselle, a multi-nation tributary. Koblenz was established as a Roman Empire, Roman military post by Nero Claudius Drusus, Drusus around 8 ...

Koblenz
, on the other hand, accent 1 rises slightly or remains level, while it is accent 2 that falls sharply, that is, more or less the reverse of the Cologne pattern. In
Hasselt Hasselt () is a Kingdom of Belgium, Belgian city and Municipalities in Belgium, municipality, and capital and largest city of the Provinces of Belgium, province of Limburg (Belgium), Limburg in the Flemish Region of Belgium. The Hasselt municipal ...
in
Belgian Limburg Limburg (, ; nl, Limburg; li, Limburg; french: Limbourg) is a province in Belgium Belgium ( nl, België ; french: Belgique ; german: Belgien ), officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a country in Western Europe. It is bordered by the Neth ...
, accent 1 rises then falls, and with accent 2 there is a fall and then a rise and another fall. The three types are known as Rule A, Rule B and Rule 0, respectively. Although traditionally accent 2 has been analysed as the marked variant, in certain Rule A areas (especially Cologne, where accent 2's realization is nigh-indistinguishable from an unpitched long vowel) accent 1 is thought of as the marked variant. Grammars of the Cologne dialect will treat the pitches as ''"ungeschärft"'' (accent 2) and ''"geschärft"'' (accent 1).Herrwegen, Alice (2002). ''De kölsche Sproch'', J.P. Bachem Verlag, p. 266-269. Adam Wrede's influential dictionary of the Cologne dialect also treats accent 2 as indistinct; the above examples ''zɛɪ1'' "sieve" and ''zɛɪ2'' "she," "they" are transcribed (zeiː) and (zei) respectively. (The differing transcriptions of the vowel are due to the pronunciation being different in Cologne than the surrounding dialects) It has recently been observed that in interrogative sentences, however, all three types have nearly identical intonations. In all dialects in accent 1, there is then a rise and then a fall. In accent 2, there is then a fall, a rise and then another fall. Since the contour of the accent changes in different contexts, from declarative to interrogative, those dialects apparently contradict Hayes's proposed criterion for a pitch-accent language of the contour of a pitch-accent remaining stable in every context.


West South Slavic languages

The West South
Slavic languages The Slavic languages, also known as the Slavonic languages, are Indo-European languages spoken primarily by the Slavs, Slavic peoples or their descendants. They are thought to descend from a proto-language called Proto-Slavic language, Proto- ...

Slavic languages
include
Serbo-Croatian Serbo-Croatian () – also called Serbo-Croat (), Serbo-Croat-Bosnian (SCB), Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian (BCS), and Bosnian-Croatian-Montenegrin-Serbian (BCMS) – is a South Slavic language The South Slavic languages are one of three branche ...
(Bosnian-Croatian-Montenegrin-Serbian) and
Slovenian Slovene or Slovenian may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to Slovenia, a country in Central Europe * Slovene language, a South Slavic language mainly spoken in Slovenia * Slovenes, an ethno-linguistic group mainly living in Slovenia * Sla ...
, spoken in the former
Yugoslavia Yugoslavia (; sh, Jugoslavija / ; sl, Jugoslavija ; mk, Југославија ;; rup, Iugoslavia; hu, Jugoszlávia; Pannonian Rusyn Image:Novi Sad mayor office.jpg, 250px, Mayor office written in four official languages used in the ...

Yugoslavia
. The late Proto-Slavic accentual system was based on a fundamental opposition of a short/long circumflex (falling) tone, and an acute (rising) tone, the position of the accent being free as was inherited from
Proto-Balto-Slavic Proto-Balto-Slavic (PBS) is a linguistic reconstruction, reconstructed proto-language descending from Proto-Indo-European language, Proto-Indo-European (PIE). From Proto-Balto-Slavic, the later Balto-Slavic languages are thought to have develope ...
. Common Slavic accentual innovations significantly reworked the original system primarily with respect to the position of the accent (
Dybo's law Dybo's law, or Dybo–Illich-Svitych's law, is a Common Slavic accent law named after Russian accentologists Vladimir Dybo and Vladislav Illich-Svitych Vladislav Markovich Illich-Svitych (russian: Владисла́в Ма́ркович И́лл ...
, Illič-Svityč's law, Meillet's law etc.), and further developments yielded some new accents, such as the so-called neoacute (Ivšić's law), or the new rising tone in Štokavian, Neoštokavian dialects (the so-called "Neoštokavian retraction"). As opposed to other Slavic dialect subgroups, West South Slavic dialects have largely retained the Proto-Slavic system of free and mobile tonal accent (including the dialect used for basis of Modern Standard
Slovene Slovene or Slovenian may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to Slovenia, a country in Central Europe * Slovene language, a South Slavic language mainly spoken in Slovenia * Slovenes, an ethno-linguistic group mainly living in Slovenia * Sla ...
and the Neoštokavian dialect used for the basis of standard varieties of
Serbo-Croatian Serbo-Croatian () – also called Serbo-Croat (), Serbo-Croat-Bosnian (SCB), Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian (BCS), and Bosnian-Croatian-Montenegrin-Serbian (BCMS) – is a South Slavic language The South Slavic languages are one of three branche ...
: Bosnian language, Bosnian, Croatian language, Croatian and
Serbian Serbian may refer to: * someone or something related to Serbia, a country in Southeastern Europe * someone or something related to the Serbs, a South Slavic people * in both meanings, depending on the context, it may refer to: ** Serbian language ...
), though the discrepancy between the codified norm and actual speech may vary significantly.For example the accentual systems of the spoken dialects of the Croatian capital Zagreb and the city of Rijeka are stress-based and do not use distinctive vowel length or pitch accent.


Serbo-Croatian

The Neoštokavian dialect used for the basis of standard Bosnian, Croatian and Serbian distinguishes four types of pitch accents: short falling (ȅ), short rising (è), long falling (ȇ), and long rising (é). There are also unaccented vowels: long (ē) and short (e). The accent is said to be relatively free, as it can be manifested on any syllable except the last. The long accents are realized by pitch change within the long vowel; the short ones are realized by the pitch difference from the subsequent syllable.Lexical, Pragmatic, and Positional Effects on Prosody in Two Dialects of Croatian and Serbian, Rajka Smiljanic
, Routledge,
Accent alternations are very frequent in inflectional paradigms by both types of accent and placement in the word (the so-called "mobile paradigms", which were present in the Proto-Indo-European language, PIE itself but became much more widespread in Proto-Balto-Slavic). Different inflected forms of the same lexeme can exhibit all four accents: ''lònac'' 'pot' (nominative sg.), ''lónca'' (genitive sg.), ''lȏnci'' (nominative pl.), ''lȍnācā'' (genitive pl.). Restrictions on the distribution of the accent depend on the position of the syllable but also on its quality, as not every kind of accent is manifested in every syllable. # A falling tone generally occurs in monosyllabic words or the first syllable of a word (''pȃs'' 'belt', ''rȏg'' 'horn'; ''bȁba'' 'old woman', ''lȃđa'' 'river ship'; ''kȕćica'' 'small house', Karlovac, Kȃrlovac). The only exception to this rule are the interjections, i.e., words uttered in the state of excitement (''ahȁ'', ''ohȏ'') # A rising tone generally occurs in any syllable of a word except the ultimate and never in monosyllabic words (''vòda'' 'water', ''lúka'' 'harbour'; ''lìvada'' 'meadow', ''lúpānje'' 'slam'; ''siròta'' 'female orphan', ''počétak'' 'beginning'; ''crvotòčina'' 'wormhole', ''oslobođénje'' 'liberation'). Thus, monosyllables generally have falling tone, and polysyllabic words generally have falling or rising tone on the first syllable and rising in all the other syllables except the last. The tonal opposition rising vs. falling is generally possible only in the first accented syllable of polysyllabic words, but the opposition by length, long vs. short, is possible even in the nonaccented syllable and the post-accented syllable (but not in the preaccented position). Proclitics (clitics that latch on to a following word), on the other hand, can "steal" a falling tone (but not a rising tone) from the following monosyllabic or disyllabic words (as seen in the examples /vîdiːm/→/ně‿vidiːm/, /ʒěliːm/→/ne‿ʒěliːm/). The stolen accent is always short and may end up being either falling or rising on the proclitic. That phenomenon is obligatory in Neoštokavian idiom and therefore in all three standard languages, but it is often lost in spoken dialects because of the influence of other dialects (such as in Zagreb because of the influence of Kajkavian dialect).A Handbook of Bosnian, Serbian and Croatian, Wayles Brown and Theresa Alt, SEELRC 2004
/ref>


Slovenian

In Slovenian, there are two concurrent standard accentual systems: the older, tonal, with three "pitch accents", and the younger, dynamic (i.e., stress-based), with louder and longer syllables. The stress-based system was introduced because two thirds of Slovenia has lost its tonal accent. In practice, however, even the stress-based accentual system is just an abstract ideal, and speakers generally retain their own dialect even when they try to speak Standard Slovenian. For example, speakers of urban dialects in the west of Slovenia without distinctive length fail to introduce a quantitative opposition when they speak the standard language. The older accentual system is tonal and free (''jágoda'' 'strawberry', ''malína'' 'raspberry', ''gospodár'' 'master, lord'). There are three kinds of accents: short falling (è), long falling (ȇ) and long rising (é). Non-final syllables always have long accents: ''rakîta'' 'crustacea', ''tetíva'' 'sinew'. The short falling accent is always in the final syllable: ''bràt'' 'brother'. Three-way opposition among accents can only then be present: ''deskà'' 'board' : ''blagọ̑''  'goods, ware' : ''gospá'' 'lady'. Accent can be mobile throughout the inflectional paradigm: ''dȃr'' — ''darȗ'', ''góra — gorẹ́'' — ''goràm'', ''bràt — bráta'' — ''o brȃtu'', ''kráva — krȃv'', ''vóda — vodọ̑'' — ''na vọ̑do''). The distinction is made between open ''-e-'' and ''-o-'' (either long or short) and closed ''-ẹ-'' and ''-ọ-'' (always long).


Basque

The Basque language of northeastern Spain and southwestern France has a number of different dialects and a number of accentual patterns. Only western varieties seem to have a tonal accent, and eastern varieties have a stress accent (the stress-accent dialects also differ one from another). According to an analysis first suggested by J.R. Hualde, Biscayan dialect, Northern Bizkaian has most nouns accentless in their absolutive case, absolutive singular form , but they have a default high tone (shown by underlining below), which continues throughout the word except for the first syllable. These examples come from the Gernika (Guernica) dialect: *''Gerníké'' "Guernica" *''basóá'' "forest" *''patátíé'' "potato" *''guntsúrrúné'' "kidney" There are, however, a few nouns (often borrowings) with a lexical accent. As in Japanese, the accent consists of a high tone, followed by a low one: *''Bílbo'' "Bilbao" *''apáriže'' "supper" In addition, some suffixes (including all plural suffixes) are preaccenting and so cause an accent on the syllable before the suffix: *''ándrak'' "women" *''txakúrren'' "of dogs" (genitive plural) *''Gerníkétik'' "from Guernica" Other suffixes do not cause any extra accent: *''txakúrrén'' "of the dog" (genitive singular) When a preaccenting suffix is added to an already-accented word, only the first accent is retained: *''Bílbotik'' "from Bilbao" The accent from Ondarroa is similar but the accent of the word, if any, always appears on the penultimate syllable: *''Bilbótik'' "from Bilbao" (Ondarroa pronunciation) Intonation studies show that when an accentless word is spoken either in isolation or before a verb, it acquires an accent on its last syllable (or, in Ondarroa, on its penultimate syllable). However, that is an intonational accent, rather than a lexical accent:Elordieta, Gork
"Basque Word Accents in the Sentence".
/ref> *''lagúná etorri da'' "the friend (''laguna'') has come" When an accentless word in those dialects of Basque is followed by an accented word, the automatic high tones continue in a plateau as far as the accent: *''lagúnén ámúma ikusi dot'' "I have seen the friend's grandmother (''amúma'')" That also applies if the accent is intonational. In the following sentence, all words are unaccented apart from the intonational accent before the verb:Hualde, J.I. "Historical Convergence and Divergence in Basque Accentuation"; in Riad, Tomas; Gussenhoven, Carlos (eds) (2007) ''Tones and Tunes: Typological Studies in Word and Sentence Prosody'', pp. 291–322; cf. p. 300. *''lagúnén álábíá etorri da'' "the friend's daughter has come" When an accented word is focused, the pitch of the accented syllable is raised, but if the word is accentless, there is no rise in pitch on that word but only on the accented word. In the following phrase, only the word ''amúma'' "grandmother" is thus accented, whether the focus is on "John", "friend", or "grandmother", or none of these: *''Jonén lágúnén ámúma'' "John's friend's grandmother" Another pitch accent area in Basque is found in western Navarre, near the border with France in the towns of Goizueta and Leitza. There is a strong stress accent there on the second or the first syllable of every word, like with central dialects of Basque, but there is also a pitch contrast superimposed on the stress: ''mendik'' (rise-dip-rise) "the mountain" vs. ''mendik'' (rise-fall) "the mountains".


Turkish

Although the Turkish accent is traditionally referred to as "stress", recent studies have pointed out that the main correlate of lexical accent is actually pitch. In a word like ''sözcükle'' "with a word", the accented second syllable is thus higher than the other two but has less intensity (loudness). Turkish word-accent is found especially in geographical names (''İstanbul'', ''Ankara'', ''Yunanistan'' "Greece", ''Adana''), foreign borrowings (''salata'' "salad", ''lokanta'' "restaurant"), some proper names (''Erdoğan'', ''Kenedi''), compound words (''başkent'' "capital city"), some words referring to relatives (''anne'' "mother"), and certain adverbs (''şimdi'' "now", ''yalnız'' "only"). It is also caused by certain suffixes, some of which are "pre-accenting" and so cause an accent on the syllable preceding them, such as negative ''-me-/-ma-'', question particle ''mi?'', or copula ''-dir'' "it is" (''gelmedi'' "he did not come", ''geldi mi?'' "did he come?", ''güzeldir'' "it is beautiful").Kabak, Barış; Vogel, Irene (2001)
"The phonological word and stress assignment in Turkish"
''Phonology'' 18 (2001) 315–360. DOI

/ref> The accented syllable is slightly higher in pitch than the following syllable. All other words, when pronounced in isolation, either have a slightly raised pitch on the final syllable or are pronounced with all the syllables level. Turkish also has a phrase-accent and focus-accent. An accent on the first word of a phrase usually causes an accent in the following words or suffixes to be neutralised, e.g., ''çoban salatası'' "shepherd salad", ''Ankara'dan da'' "also from Ankara", ''telefon ettiler'' "they telephoned", with only one accent. A controversy exists over whether Turkish has accentless words, like Japanese and Basque. Some scholars, such as Levi (2005) and Özçelik (2016), see the final raised pitch sometimes heard in words such as ''arkadaş'' ("friend") or ''geldi'' ("he came") as a mere phrasal tone or boundary tone. Others, such as Kabak (2016), prefer the traditional view that the final accent in such words is a kind of stress.


Persian

The accent of
Persian Persian may refer to: * People and things from Iran, historically called ''Persia'' in the English language ** Persians, Persian people, the majority ethnic group in Iran, not to be conflated with the Iranian peoples ** Persian language, an Iranian ...
words used to be always referred to as "stress" but is recognised as a pitch accent in recent works. Acoustic studies show that accented syllables have some of the characteristics of stressed syllables in stress-accent languages (slightly more intensity, more length, more open vowels), but that effect is much less than would normally be expected in stress-accent languages. The main difference is one of pitch, with a contour of (L)+H*. Normally, the pitch falls again at the end of the syllable (if final) or on the next syllable. Persian nouns and adjectives are always accented on the final syllable. Certain suffixes, such as the plural ''-ha'', shift the accent to themselves: *''ketâb'' "book" *''ketâb-hâ'' "books" *''ketâb-i'' "bookish" Other suffixes, such as possessives and the indefinite ''-i'', are clitic and so are unaccented: *''ketâb-etun'' "your book" *''ketâb-i'' "a book" In verbs, the personal endings in the past tense are clitic but are accented in the future tense: *''gereft-am'' "I took" *''gerefte-am'' "I have taken" *''xâham gereft'' "I will take" When prefixes are added, the accent shifts to the first syllable: *''mi-gir-am'' "I'm taking" *''na-gereft-am'' "I did not take" *''be-gir-am'' "I should take" In the vocative (''xânom!'' "madam") and sometimes elsewhere, such as ''bale!'' "yes" or ''agar'' "if", the accent is also on the first syllable. In compound verbs, the accent is on the first element: *''kâr kard-am'' "I worked" However, in compound nouns, the accent is on the second element: *''ketâb-xâne'' "bookcase" In the ''ezâfe'' construction, the first noun is optionally accented but generally loses its pitch: *''mardom-e Irân'' / ''mardom-e Irân'' "the people of Iran" When a word is focussed, the pitch is raised, and the words that follow usually lose their accent: *''nâme-ye mâmân-am bud ru miz'' "it was my mom's letter that was on the table" However, other researchers claim that the pitch of post-focus words is reduced but sometimes still audible.


Japanese

Standard Japanese and certain other varieties of
Japanese Japanese may refer to: * Something from or related to Japan Japan ( ja, 日本, or , and formally ) is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or ...

Japanese
are described as having a pitch accent, which differs significantly among dialects. In Standard Japanese, the "accent" may be characterized as a downstep (phonetics), downstep rather than as pitch accent. The pitch of a word rises until it reaches a downstep and then drops abruptly. In a two-syllable word, a contrast thus occurs between ''high–low'' and ''low–high''. Accentless words are also ''low–high'', but the pitch of following enclitics differentiates them. The Ōsaka accent (Kansai dialect) (marked red on the map to the right) differs from the Tokyo accent in that in some words, the first syllable of the word (always ''low'' in Tokyo Japanese unless accented) can be ''high''. To give a full description of the accent of a word, therefore, it is necessary to specify not only the position of the accent (downstep) but also the height of the first syllable.


Korean

Standard (Seoul)
Korean Korean may refer to: People and culture * Koreans, ethnic group originating in the Korean Peninsula * Korean cuisine * Korean culture * Korean language **Korean alphabet, known as Hangul or Chosŏn'gŭl **Korean dialects and the Jeju language **S ...
uses pitch only for prosody (linguistics), prosody. However, several other dialects retain a Middle Korean pitch-accent system. In the dialect of North Gyeongsang Province, North Gyeongsang, in southeastern South Korea, any syllable and the initial two syllables may have a pitch accent in the form of a high tone. For example, in trisyllabic words, there are four possible tone patterns:


Shanghainese

The Shanghainese, Shanghai dialect of Wu Chinese is marginally Shanghainese#Tones, tonal, with characteristics of a pitch accent. Not counting closed syllables (those with a final ), a monosyllabic Shanghainese may carry one of three tones: ''high'', ''mid'', ''low''. The tones have a contour in isolation, but for the following purposes, it can be ignored. However, ''low'' tone always occurs after voiced consonants and only then. Thus, the only tonal distinction is after voiceless consonants and in vowel-initial syllables, and there is only a two-way distinction between ''high'' tone and ''mid'' tone. In a polysyllabic word, the tone of the first syllable determines the tone of the entire word. If the first tone is ''high'', the following syllables are mid. If it is ''mid'' or ''low,'' the second syllable is ''high'', and any following syllables are ''mid''. Thus, a mark for the high tone is all that is needed to note the tone in Shanghainese:


Bantu languages

The Bantu languages are a large group of some 550 languages, spread over most of south and central Africa. Proto-Bantu is believed to have had two tones: H and L. However, it does not appear to have had a pitch-accent system, as defined above, since words with such forms as HL, HH, LH, and LL were all found: *''káda'' "charcoal", *''cómbá'' "fish", *''nyangá'' "horn" and *''tope'' "mud". In other words, some words like *''cómbá'' could have two high tones, and others had one tone or none. However, in the course of time, processes such as Meeussen's Rule, by which sequences such as HHH became HLL, LHL, or LLH, tended to eliminate all but one tone in a word in many Bantu languages, making them more accent-like. Thus in
Chichewa Chewa (also known as Nyanja, ) is a Bantu language The Bantu languages (English: , Proto-Bantu: *bantʊ̀) are a large family of languages spoken by the Bantu peoples throughout sub-Saharan Africa Sub-Saharan Africa is, geographically ...
, the word for "fish" (''nsómba'') now has HL tones, exactly like the word for "charcoal" (''khála''). Another process that makes for culminativity in some Bantu languages is the interaction between stress and tone. The penultimate syllable of a word is stressed in many Bantu languages, and some of them have a tendency for high tones to be on the penultimate. For example, in Tumbuka language, Chitumbuka, every phonological phrase is accented with a falling tone on the penultimate: ''ti-ku-phika sî:ma'' "we are cooking porridge". In other languages, such as Xhosa language, Xhosa, the high tone is attracted to the antepenultimate although the penultimate being stressed. Ciluba and Ruund, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, are two Bantu languages thaty are interesting for their "tone reversal". Low tone is phonologically active in places that other languages of the same family have a high tone. Thus, in a word like *''mukíla'' "tail", most other Bantu languages have a high tone on the second syllable, but Chiluba has ''mukìla'' and Ruund has ''mukìl'', with a low-toned accent.


Luganda

Luganda The Ganda language or Luganda (, , ) is a Bantu language spoken in the African Great Lakes region. It is one of the major languages in Uganda and is spoken by more than 10 million Ganda people, Baganda and other people principally in central Uga ...
, a language of Uganda, has some words with apparent tonal accents. They can be either high or falling (rising tones do not occur in Luganda). Falling tones are found on bimoraic syllables or word-finally: *''ensî'' "country" *''ekibúga'' "city" *''eddwâliro'' "hospital" Some words, however, have two accents, which are joined in a plateau: *''Kámpálâ'' "Kampala" Other words are accentless: *''ekitabo'' "book" However, accentless words are not always without tones but usually receive a default tone on all syllables except the first one or the first
mora Mora may refer to: Places * Doctor Mora, city in the Mexican state of Guanajuato * Mora (Cordillera), Bolivia * Mora, Cameroon, a town * Mora (canton), Costa Rica * Mora, Cyprus, a village * Mora, Maharashtra, India, a port near Mumbai * Mora, Port ...
: *''ekítábó'' "book" *''Bunyóró'' "Bunyoro" (name of region) A double consonant at the beginning of a word counts as a mora. In such words, the first syllable also can have a default tone: *''Ttóró'' "Toro" (a region) Default tones are also heard on the end of accented words if there is a gap of at least one mora after the accent (the default tones are lower in pitch than the preceding accent): *''amasérengétá'' "south" *''eddwâlíró'' "hospital" The default tones are not always heard but disappear in certain contexts, such as if a noun is the subject of a sentence or used before a numeral: *''Mbarara kibúga'' "Mbarara is a city" *''ebitabo kkúmi'' "ten books" In some contexts such as affirmative verb + location, or phrases with "of"), the high tone of an accent (or of a default tone) can continue in a plateau all the way until the next accented syllable: *''mu maséréngétá gá Úgáńda'' "in the south of Uganda" *''alí mú Búgáńda'' "he is in Buganda" The situation with verbs is more complicated, however, since some of the verbal roots have their own inherent word-accent, but also, the prefixes added to the verb also often have an accent. Also, some tenses (such as negative tenses and relative clause tenses) add an accent on the final syllable. When two or three accents come in a row in a verb, H-H becomes H-L, and H-H-H becomes H-L-L. However, the default tones are not added on the syllables with deleted accents, which leads to forms like ''bálilabá'' (from ''*bá-lí-lába'') "they will see". There, not one but two low-toned syllables follow the accent. Another rule is that if two accents in the same verb are not next to each other, they form a plateau. Thus, the negative tense ''tágulâ'' "he does not buy" is pronounced 'tágúlâ'', with a plateau.


Chichewa

Chichewa, a language widely spoken in Malawi, is tonal but has accentual properties. Most Chichewa simple nouns have only one high tone, usually on one of the last three syllables. (See Chichewa tones.) *''chímanga'' "maize" *''chikóndi'' "love" *''chinangwá'' "cassava" (usually pronounced ''chinăngwā'', with rising tone on the penultimate) However, many number of nouns have no high tone but are accentless. Unlike the accentless words in Luganda, however, they do not acquire any default tones but are pronounced with all the syllables low: *''chipatala'' "hospital" A few nouns (often but not always compounds) have two high tones. If they are separated by only one syllable, they usually join in a plateau: *''chizólówezí'' "habit" *''bírímánkhwe'' "chameleon" Most verbal roots in Chichewa are accentless. However, a few verbs also have lexical accents, but they are not inherited from Proto-Bantu. When there is an accent, it is always heard on the final ''-a'' of the verb: *''thokozá-ni'' "give thanks (pl.)" Some accents are added by prefixes and suffixes. For example, the infinitive prefix ''ku-'' is postaccenting, adding a tone on the following syllable, while the suffix ''-nso'' "again/also" is preaccenting: *''fotokoza'' "explain" (toneless) *''kufótokoza'' "to explain" *''kufótokozánso'' "to explain again" The verbal system is complicated by the fact that overlying the tones of the verb and suffixes is a series of tonal patterns that changes by tense. There are at least eight patterns for affirmative tenses and other different patterns for relative clause verbs and negative verbs. For example, the present habitual tense has tones on the first and penultimate syllables, the recent past has a tone after the tense-marker -''na''-, the subjunctive has a tone on the final syllable and the potential is toneless. The tones apply, with minor variations, to all verbs, whether the stem is long or short: *''ndímafotokóza'' "I (usually) explain" *''ndinafótokoza'' "I explained (just now)" *''ndifotokozé'' "I should explain" *''ndingafotokoze'' "I could explain" When a verb has a penultimate accent, most other tones tend to be suppressed. For example, in the negative future, both the tone of the future-tense marker, ''-dzá-'', and the tone of the negative marker, ''sí-'' (both normally high), are neutralised: *''sindidzafotokóza'' "I will not explain" Those and other processes cause most verb tenses to have only one or two high tones, which are at the beginning, the penultimate or the final of the verb stem or at a prefix or sometimes even both. That gives the impression that the tones in the resultant words have a clearly-accentual quality.


English

Most dialects of English are classified as stress accent, stress-accent languages. However, there are some dialects in which tone can play a part in the word accent.


Hong Kong English

Lexical words in Hong Kong English are assigned at least one H (high) tone. Disyllabic words may have the tone pattern H-o (clóckwise), H-H (sómetímes), o-H (creáte), where "o" stands for tonelessness. Trisyllabic words receive any one of seven possible tone assignments H-H-H (kángároo), H-H-o (hándwríting), H-o-H (róundabóut), H-o-o (thréátening), o-H-H (abóut-túrn), o-H-o (esséntial), o-o-H (recomménd). Toneless syllables receive other pitch assignments depending on their positions: word-initial toneless syllables are M(id)-toned, utterance-final toneless syllables are Low, and word-medial toneless syllables vary across two major sub-dialects in the community surfacing as either H or M. Because lexical stipulation of Hong Kong English tones are privative, one is easily misled into thinking of Hong Kong English as a pitch-accented language. It is, however, probably more accurate to think of Hong Kong English as a language with lexical tones.


South African English

In Broad South African English, (phonetically ) is often deleted, such as in word-initial stressed syllables (as in ''house''), but at least as often, it is pronounced even if it seems to be deleted. The vowel that follows in the word-initial syllable often carries a low or low rising tone. In rapid speech, that can be the only trace of the deleted . Potentially minimal tonal pairs are thus created, like ''oh'' (neutral or high falling ) vs. ''hoe'' (low or low rising ).


Welsh English

A distinctive feature of Welsh English is the rising pitch on the last syllable of major words, imitating the rising pitch of word-final syllables in
Welsh Welsh may refer to: Related to Wales * Welsh, referring or related to Wales * Welsh language, a Brittonic Celtic language of the Indo-European language family, indigenous to the British Isles, spoken in Wales ** Patagonian Welsh, a dialect of Wels ...
(see below). An important factor in the realisation of stress in both Welsh and Welsh English is the length of the post-stress consonant, which tends to be longer than the stressed vowel itself.


Welsh

In
Welsh Welsh may refer to: Related to Wales * Welsh, referring or related to Wales * Welsh language, a Brittonic Celtic language of the Indo-European language family, indigenous to the British Isles, spoken in Wales ** Patagonian Welsh, a dialect of Wels ...
a stress accent usually comes on the penultimate syllable (with a few exceptions accented on the final, such as the word ''Cymraeg'' "Welsh"), and is usually on a low pitch followed by a rising pitch. "In Welsh, the stressed syllable is associated with lower pitch than less stressed or unstressed syllables ... However, the post-stress syllable in Welsh is typically produced on a higher pitch." It is believed that this came about because late Brythonic (the ancestor of Welsh) had a penultimate accent that was pronounced with a high pitch. When the final vowels of words were lost, the high pitch remained on what was now the final syllable, but the stress moved to the new penultimate. Thus LHL changed to LH, with the stress on the low syllable.David Willis
"Old and Middle Welsh"
In: Ball, Martin J., and Nicole Müller (eds.), ''The Celtic languages'', Routledge Language Family Descriptions, 2nd ed. (1993), p. 6
Although it is usually said that the high pitch is in the final syllable of the word, an acoustic study of Anglesey Welsh found that in that dialect at least the peak of the tone was actually in the penultimate syllable, thus the last two syllables were L+H* L.


Yaqui

The
Yaqui The Yaqui, Hiaki, or Yoeme, are a Uto-Aztecan Uto-Aztecan, Uto-Aztekan or (rarely) Uto-Nahuatl is a Language family, family of indigenous languages of the Americas, consisting of over thirty languages. Uto-Aztecan languages are found almost e ...
are a native American people living mostly in Mexico but also in Arizona. About 17,000 people are said to speak Yaqui, which is a Uto-Aztecan language. Yaqui has a tonal accent in which the accent is on the first or the second
mora Mora may refer to: Places * Doctor Mora, city in the Mexican state of Guanajuato * Mora (Cordillera), Bolivia * Mora, Cameroon, a town * Mora (canton), Costa Rica * Mora, Cyprus, a village * Mora, Maharashtra, India, a port near Mumbai * Mora, Port ...
of the word. A long vowel has two moras in Yaqui, and a short vowel or diphthong has one mora. After the accent, the high tone continues with a very slight declineHagberg, Larry (2008)
"An Acoustic Analysis of Yaqui Stress"
Friends of Uto-Aztecan, October 3, 2008, University of Arizona.
until the end of the word. About two thirds of words have an accent on the first mora, and all tones of the word are then high:Richard Demers, Fernando Escalante and Eloise Jelinek (1999)
"Prominence in Yaqui Words"
''International Journal of American Linguistics'', Vol. 65, No. 1 (Jan., 1999), pp. 40-55
*''kárí'' "house" *''hamút'' "woman" *''tééká'' "sky" (where ''ee'' represents a long vowel) *''teéká'' "lay down" In some words with a long first vowel, the accent moves to the second syllable, and the vowel of the first syllable then becomes short: *''bákót'' "snake" *''bakóttá'' "snake (object of verb)" In a certain kind of reduplication, the accent moves to the first mora, and the next consonant is then usually doubled. At the same time, since a long vowel cannot follow the accent, the vowel after the accent is also shortened: *''teéká'' "lay down" *''téttéká'' "in the process of laying something down" At the end of a phrase, the pitch drops, with a low boundary tone. To an English-speaker, the first high tone in Yaqui "sounds very much like a stress". However, acoustic studies show that the amplitude of the accented syllable is not really greater than the other syllables in the word are.


See also

* Stress (linguistics) * Tone (linguistics)


Notes


References

* *


Further reading

* *Hyman, L.M. (2015
"Positional Prominence vs. Word Accent: Is there a difference?"
UC Berkeley Phonology Lab Annual Report (2015) *van der Hulst, Harry (2011
"Pitch Accent systems"
in: ''The Blackwell Companion to Phonology, Volume II: Suprasegmental and Prosodic Phonology'' {{DEFAULTSORT:Pitch Accent Tone (linguistics) pt:Tonicidade