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動画の字幕をクリックしてすぐ単語の意味を調べられます!
単語帳読み込み中…
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It turns out that in some languages out there, people sing when they speak!
So how does that work?
When you think of the sounds that you put together to make a word, vowels and consonants
come to mind. And that's good. Usually. But to build words in tonal languages like
Hausa or Mandarin, you need another set of musical pieces called tones to make meaning.
Yes, these languages pay attention to higher and lower notes like a singer or a musician.
They don't do this by requiring their speakers to have perfect pitch and hit the same notes
as everyone else every time. Not everyone who speaks your language will be a mezzo-soprano
after all. So, if it's not about the specific notes, how do tonal languages use so many
tones? They pay attention to changes in pitch. A syllable sung higher (háá) can mean something
different than that same syllable sung lower (hàà). Linguistically, we would count those
as two different tones.
Whether you're high, or low, or just right in the middle, you're contrasting steady
notes. These different pitches are called register tones. In the Bantu languages of
Africa and Athabaskan languages like Navajo, the two basic register tones are a high tone
and a low tone.
Changes in pitch can get more dynamic, rising, falling, bouncing or staying level like they
do in Mandarin or Vietnamese. These tones are more about the shape of the tone, not
simply whether the note is higher or lower, so they're called contour tones. In Mandarin,
a syllable can be pronounced in four different contour tones. In Thai, there are
five contour tones.
Think you've mastered register versus contour tones? Well then, combine them! Mandarin may
have four contour tones, but look to the south to see how Cantonese distinguishes a low rising
tone from a medium rising tone. Oh, and it also has a high level tone, which is different
from a medium level tone and a low level tone. Add in the low falling tone, and you've
got six ways to sing a Cantonese syllable!
Notice that both register and contour tones are “sung” on vowels. Consonants have
your tongue blocking, smacking or pushing the airflow around, unlike the smooth, vibrating
air characteristic of vowels, which makes them the perfect environment for singsongy tones.
Tones are an extra feature that tonal languages use to build words - rising, level and falling
are as distinct as /p/, /t/ and /k/ - so speaking a word in a the wrong tone in one of these
languages can sound as bad as putting a /k/ where it doesn't belong. This makes tonality
a notoriously difficult feature to pick up for people coming from a non-tonal language
like English. (Much sympathy my friend!)
So keep your ears alert and practice, practice, practice.
Thanks again for learning with me and subscribe for language!
コツ:単語をクリックしてすぐ意味を調べられます!

読み込み中…

Sing like you mean it! - the Linguistics of Tonal Languages

739 タグ追加 保存
shrnchng 2019 年 7 月 29 日 に公開
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