Tone and Related Phenomena in Panjabi

Authored by: Mangat Rai Bhardwaj


Print publication date:  April  2016
Online publication date:  August  2016

Print ISBN: 9781138793859
eBook ISBN: 9781315760803
Adobe ISBN: 9781317643272


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Among the major languages of the Indian sub-continent, Panjabi is distinct in the sense that it is a “tone language” (or more properly a “pitch accent language”). But the Panjabi (Gurmukhi) script historically developed before this phenomenon appeared in Panjabi. This chapter analyses the phonetics of Panjabi tones or pitch accents (variation of pitch at the level of the word) and their relation to the Panjabi script. In Panjabi you do not “speak exactly as you write” or “write exactly as you speak” but the relation is fairly systematic. Panjabi also has sentence intonation (variation of pitch at the level of the sentence). The two types of pitch variations interact with each other fairly systematically so that there is no confusion.

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