Elizabeth (greyautumnrain) wrote,

Toddler Linguistics

I realized last night that Margaret speaks English as a tonal language.

I think this is very cool. I suppose that one could also argue that this is what comes of messing with your child by exposing them to English, Thai, Mandarin and Cantonese all at once. Thai has been dropped now that Jomkwan is no longer with us, but Margaret still uses words that sound Thai to me, so she hasn't forgotten them completely.

Anyway, in the world according to Margaret, English is a tonal language. Kitty has a rising tone on the first syllable, and a high tone for the second one. I'm not that great at hearing tones, but I think if I continue to listen I'll pick up some of the others. Bear is a particularly interesting word because it seems to rise then fall, which isn't one of the standard Chinese tones. Of course, bear is such an important word that it does merit a tone all of it's own.

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