LINGUIST List 14.850

Mon Mar 24 2003

Qs: Tone Notation, Fortition Representation

Editor for this issue: Naomi Fox <>

FUND DRIVE 2003 To give you an incentive to donate, many of our Supporting Publishers have generously donated some amazing linguistic prizes. As a donor you are automatically entered into this prize draw. To find out what's on offer and the rules etc., visit: We still have a long way to go, however, to reach our target of $50,000. Please make a donation at: The LINGUIST List depends on the generous contributions from subscribers like you; we would not be able to operate without your help. The moderators, staff, and student editors at LINGUIST would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your continuous support. We'd like to remind readers that the responses to queries are usually best posted to the individual asking the question. That individual is then strongly encouraged to post a summary to the list. This policy was instituted to help control the huge volume of mail on LINGUIST; so we would appreciate your cooperating with it whenever it seems appropriate. In addition to posting a summary, we'd like to remind people that it is usually a good idea to personally thank those individuals who have taken the trouble to respond to the query. To post to LINGUIST, use our convenient web form at


  1. Stahlke, Herbert F.W., tone letters
  2. Matthew Absalom, Phonological treatment of fortition

Message 1: tone letters

Date: Fri, 21 Mar 2003 08:25:06 -0500
From: Stahlke, Herbert F.W. <>
Subject: tone letters

I've been looking, unsuccessfully, for fonts that contain a variety
tone letters or, perhaps, components that can combine into more
complex tone letters. The SIL Encore fonts provide level and simple
contour tone letters but nothing for, for example, Mandarin
falling-rising or for the different contour tones of Vietnamese.
Also, the SIL fonts don't allow one to indicate differences in length
with tone letters. I've looked through Unicode fonts and, while there
are simple tone letters, Unicode appears to offer no tone letter
components either. However, I haven't fully mastered Unicode yet, so
I may have missed something. Google searches have also failed to turn
up much. I will be happy to report back to Linguist-L any information
I receive.


Herb Stahlke
Ball State University 
Mail to author|Respond to list|Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue

Message 2: Phonological treatment of fortition

Date: Sat, 22 Mar 2003 18:10:45 -0500
From: Matthew Absalom <matthew.absalomUNISA.EDU.AU>
Subject: Phonological treatment of fortition

Hi, I'm working on Italian phonology and have a query regarding fortition
processes. I am wrestling with how to theoretically represent a case of
fortition in one variety of Italian where spirantised consonants surface as
stops. In the traditional literature, this has been described as a case of
C lengthening but acoustically it is clear that this is in fact occlusion.
With the trad lengthening description, many scholars have represented this
theoretically as a case of mora filling - but in the case of fortition,
feature changing can't really be represented as mora filling (or can it?)
I'd be grateful for any suggestions, within any theoretical framework.

thanks, Matthew
Mail to author|Respond to list|Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue