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Re: AP in all of us? New evidence from speech research

I just heard on the radio an interview with a Chinese writer who lived
through the Cultural Revolution. Her grandfather was fired from his job
because he was screaming at his cat "Out, cat!" Cat in some dialects is
"mao", but with a different tone than "Mao". Apparently, because the cat
upset him, he changed the tone by mistake and somebody reported him for
screaming "Out, Mao!".

So, I imagine that tone is VERY important in China if you want to survive.


At 09:37 PM 5/9/01 -0500, Tom Brennan wrote:
I have had very little exposure to any of the Chinese languages but as I
in linguistics one of the Chinese staff members at the university talked
with us
and told us that the pitch (literal relational inflection) of words determined
the meaning of words which were pronounced the same and inly differed in
Is this incorrect?  I have not done any work in this area so have only very
limited knowledge of this aspect.


Tom Brennan, CCC-A/SLP, RHD
web page http://titan.sfasu.edu/~g_brennantg/sonicpage.html
web master http://titan.sfasu.edu/~f_freemanfj/speechscience.html
web master http://titan.sfasu.edu/~f_freemanfj/fluency.html

Pierre Divenyi, Ph.D.      Speech and Hearing Research (151)
                                     V.A. Medical Center, Martinez, CA
94553, USA
Phone: (925) 370-6745
Fax:     (925) 228-5738
E-mail :                       pdivenyi@marva4.ebire.org