A feature of linguistic analysis common to many languages around the world (though rare in Europe and the Middle East). The tone of a word is a high-low pitch pattern permanently associated with it. A change of tone alters the word as much as a change in its consonants or vowels. Chinese is the most well-known of such languages. Tonality is different from intonation, which is present in every language. Regarding intonation, for example, a rising pitch at the end of a sentence often indicates a question, while a falling pitch indicates a statement. Intonation is a variable feature of phrases and sentences, while tonality is a fixed feature of individual words. (from Wikipedia)
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