Register (phonology)

Register (phonology)

In linguistics, a register language, also known as a pitch-register language, is a language which combines tone and vowel phonation into a single phonological system. Burmese and the Chinese dialect Shanghainese are examples. Burmese is often considered a tonal language, but differences in relative pitch are correlated with vowel phonation, so that neither exists independently.

There are three such registers in Burmese, which have traditionally been considered three of the four 'tones'. (The fourth is not a tone at all, but a closed syllable, called "entering tone" in translations of Chinese phonetics). Jones (1986) views the differences as:"resulting from the intersection of both pitch registers and voice registers […] Clearly Burmese is not tonal in the same sense as such other languages and therefore requires a different concept, namely that of pitch register." [Robert Jones, 1986. "Pitch register languages," pp 135-136, in John McCoy & Timothy Light eds., "Contributions to Sino-Tibetan Studies"]

Khmer is sometimes considered to be a register language. It's also been called a "restructured register language" because both its pitch and phonation can be considered allophonic: If they are ignored, the phonemic distinctions they carry remain as a difference in diphthongs and vowel length.


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Register — may refer to:In linguistics: * Register and contour tones, a linguistics term for tones distinguished by relative pitch * Register (sociolinguistics), a form of a language used for a particular purpose or social setting * Register (phonology), a… …   Wikipedia

  • Register (sociolinguistics) — For the phonological term, see Register (phonology). In linguistics, a register is a variety of a language used for a particular purpose or in a particular social setting. For example, when speaking in a formal setting an English speaker may be… …   Wikipedia

  • Historical Chinese phonology — deals with reconstructing the sounds of Chinese from the past. As Chinese is written with logographic characters, not alphabetic or syllabary, the methods employed in Historical Chinese phonology differ considerably from those employed in, for… …   Wikipedia

  • Gujarati phonology — is the study of the inventory and patterns of the consonants, vowels, and prosody of the Gujarati language.Vowels*The three sibilants of Sanskrit are now two in standard Gujarati: IPA|/s/ and IPA|/ʃ/. Retroflex IPA| [ʂ] still appears in clusters… …   Wikipedia

  • Vietnamese phonology — This article is a technical description the sound system of the Vietnamese language, including phonetics and phonology. ConsonantsTwo main varieties of Vietnamese, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, are described below.HanoiThe 21 consonants of the… …   Wikipedia

  • Hindi-Urdu phonology — Modern Standard Hindi is the official language of India, [cite web title =The Union: Official Language|url = language.php|accessdate = 2007 06 24|work = Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of… …   Wikipedia

  • Tone letter — Register (level) tone ˥ ˦ ˧ ˨ ˩ IPA number 519–523 Entity …   Wikipedia

  • Brazilian Portuguese — (Portuguese: português brasileiro or português do Brasil; pt BR) is a group of Portuguese dialects written and spoken by most of the 190 million inhabitants[1] of Brazil and by a few million Brazilian emigrants, mainly in the United States,… …   Wikipedia

  • Cantonese — This article is about the Cantonese language of Guangzhou, Hong Kong, and Macau. For related dialects, see Yue Chinese. For other uses, see Cantonese (disambiguation). Cantonese 广州话 / 廣州話 Spoken in …   Wikipedia

  • Tamil language — Tamil தமிழ் tamiḻ Pronunciation [t̪ɐmɨɻ] Spoken in India, Sri Lanka, Singapore, where it has offi …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.