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American English, a tonal language?

This video, by Glossika (Mike Campbell) of youtube fame, pretty much blew my mind. What do you guys think?

Comments

kazamesu
Apr. 17th, 2010 05:37 pm (UTC)
It's interesting, of course, but the important thing to note is that the tones don't necessarily change meaning; they do, slightly, but a native speaker will still understand what you mean if you change the tone because of the context. Therefore, I wouldn't consider English a tonal language, even if speakers do use tone to facilitate understanding. It is helpful, but not essential, except in distinguishing mood (like interrogative or declarative, for instance).

So it's a very very good resource to help learners of the language sound more natural, but it's not essential, because most of the important distinctions are things they'll pick up. In my opinion, anyway.

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usofeh
U.S. of Eh - North American English Inquiries

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