Tone name

In tonal languages, tone names are the names given to the tones these languages use.

Pitch contours of the four Mandarin tones
Northern Vietnamese (non-Hanoi) tones as uttered by a male speaker in isolation. From Nguyễn & Edmondson (1998)
  • Standard Vietnamese has six tones, known as ngang, sắc, huyền, hỏi, ngã, and nặng tones.
  • Thai has five phonemic tones: mid, low, falling, high and rising, sometimes referred to in older reference works as rectus, gravis, circumflexus, altus and demissus, respectively.[1] The table shows an example of both the phonemic tones and their phonetic realization, in the IPA.
Thai language tone chart
Tone Thai Example Phonemic Phonetic Example meaning in English
mid สามัญ นา /nāː/ [naː˧] paddy field
low เอก หน่า /nàː/ [naː˩] (a nickname)
falling โท หน้า /nâː/ [naː˥˩] face
high ตรี น้า /náː/ [naː˧˥] or [naː˥] maternal aunt or uncle younger than one's mother
rising จัตวา หนา /nǎː/ [naː˩˩˦] or [naː˩˦] thick

See also


  1. ^ Frankfurter, Oscar. Elements of Siamese grammar with appendices. American Presbyterian mission press, 1900 [1] (Full text available on Google Books)

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