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*Scattered languages of the [[Amazon basin]], usually with rather simple register-tone systems.
*Scattered languages of [[New Guinea]], usually with rather simple register-tone systems.
*A few Indo-European languages, namely [[Panjabi language|Panjabi]], [[Ancient Greek]], [[Sanskrit language#Pitch|Vedic Sanskrit]], [[Swedish language|Swedish]], [[Norwegian language|Norwegian]], [[Limburgish]], [[Lithuanian language|Lithuanian]], and West [[South Slavic languages]] ([[Slovene language|Slovene]], [[Croatian language|Croatian]]
*Some European-based [[creole language]]s, such as [[Saramaccan]]
The vast majority of [[Austronesian languages]] are non-tonal, but a small number, for example [[Ma'ya]] (which also has lexical stress) have developed tone. No tonal language has been reported from [[Australia]]. In some cases it is difficult to determine whether a language is tonal. For example, the [[Ket language]] has been described as having up to eight tones by some investigators, as having four tones by others, but by some as having no tone at all. In cases such as these, the classification of a language as tonal may depend on the researcher's interpretation of what tone is. For instance, the Burmese language has phonetic tone, but each of its three tones is accompanied by a distinctive [[phonation]] (creaky, murmured or plain vowels). It could be argued either that the tone is incidental to the phonation, in which case Burmese would not be [[phoneme|phonemically]] tonal, or that the phonation is incidental to the tone, in which case it would be considered tonal. Something similar appears to be the case with Ket.
Most languages use pitch as [[intonation]] to convey [[prosody (linguistics)|prosody]]
Here is a minimal tone set from [[Mandarin Chinese]], which has five tones, here transcribed by diacritics over the vowels:
Several variations are found. In many three-tone languages, it is common to mark High and Low tone as indicated above, but to omit marking of the Mid tone, e.g., ''má'' (High), ''ma'' (Mid), ''mà'' (Low). Similarly, in some two-tone languages, only one tone is marked explicitly.
With more complex tonal systems, such as in the [[Kru languages|Kru]]
=== Asia ===
The Latin-based [[Hmong language|Hmong]]
In Mesoamericanist linguistics, /1/ stands for High tone and /5/ stands for Low tone, except in [[Oto-Manguean]] languages, where /1/ may be Low tone and /3/ High tone. It is also common to see acute accents for high tone and grave accents for low tone and combinations of these for contour tones. Several popular orthographies use ‹j› or ‹h› after a vowel to indicate low tone.
[[Southern Athabascan languages]] that include the [[Navajo language|Navajo]]
The Mesoamerican language stock called [[Oto-Manguean]] is famously tonal and is the largest language family in [[Mesoamerica]], containing languages including [[Zapotec language|Zapotec]], [[Mixtecan languages|Mixtec]], and [[Otomi language|Otomí]], some of which have as many as 8 different tones (Chinantec,) and others only two ([[Matlatzinca language|Matlatzinca]]
A number of languages of South America are tonal. For example, the [[Pirahã language]] has three tones. The [[Ticuna language]] isolate is exceptional for having five level tones (the only other languages to have such a system are the [[Trique language]] and the Usila dialect of [[Chinantec]] (both Oto-Manguean languages of Mexico).
Both [[Swedish language|Swedish]]
In [[Limburgish language|Limburgish]] tones can also occur in words of one syllable: dáág (one day) - dààg (several days).
Tone is carried by the word or syllable, so syllabic consonants such as nasals and trills may bear tone. This is especially common with syllabic nasals, for example in many [[Bantu languages|Bantu]]